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selected from Shivers #88

The sublime terror of RingRing Remake
DreamWorks has paid $1 million to outbid Disney for the remake rights to Ringu / Ring, the stunning 1998 Japanese Horror suspense drama directed by Hideo Nakata. Based on a series of novels by Suzuki Koji, famously described as Japan’s answer to Stephen King, Ringu was published in 1995 and successfully adapted for television before the 1998 big screen version broke all Japanese box office records.

You read about the original film in my Sitges Festival report two years ago, and you may have seen the sequel Ring 2 at the FrightFest. If not, Ringu is a traditional ghost story concerning a journalist investigating an urban legend about a cursed videotaped said to kill whoever sees it within seven days after exposure to its supernatural contents. Sadako, the central demon at the centre of the mysterious mayhem, became as popular as Freddie Krueger in Japan but let’s see if history repeats itself internationally when the remake emerges in 2002.

Rachel declines the Mummy
Rachel Weisz has bowed out of a third Mummy movie before the second film in the series has even been released. The 29-year-old British actress who stars in the sequel The Mummy Returns alongside Brendan Fraser says making the second movie was a lot of fun. But although there is already talk of putting the second sequel The Scorpion King into production very soon, sexy Weisz insists she will have no part in it. She said “If there is another one it will be without me. I loved doing The Mummy Returns because it was like a wonderful family reunion. And my character has really evolved, so it was also quite challenging. But twice is definitely enough!” Word on the street is that The Mummy Returns is a much better picture than the first film – not hard – and that Weisz will probably change her mind come the first weekend of release as it reaps an anticipated fortune.

Bits and Pieces...
Now Hannibal has become one of the biggest grossing movies of all time, producer Dino De Laurentiis has asked Ridley Scott to direct a third sequel within the next year that will not be based on a book by Thomas Harris. Previously there had been speculation that De Laurentiis would produce a new version of Red Dragon, presented as Manhunter in 1986. Anthony Hopkins has also asked to appear in the sequel…

British comedy star Rowan Atkinson will play the lead villain in Warner Bros’ live-action feature Scooby-Doo for director Raja Gosnell. The Bean star rounds out a cast that includes real-life couple Freddie Prinze Jr and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Fred and Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma. The plot is being kept tightly under wraps, but the Atkinson character’s name is Mondavarious...

MGM will produce The Brothers Grimm written by Ehren (Scream 3) Kruger as an Event Movie for 2002. The revisionist Fantasy adventure follows brothers Jacob and Willem Grimm, renowned collectors of folklore, who are forced to investigate a haunted forest where girls have been disappearing. Much of the drama will be spun from classical mythology and their famous fables…

Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction