Recent films in the Japanese Ring (Ringu) franchise saw Sadako venture into 3D (Sadako 3D and Sadako 3D 2), as well as taking on Ju-on The Grudge‘s Kayako in the spin-off film Sadako vs. Kayako. Now the long black haired ghost is climbing back out of the well, with the help of the original film’s director Hideo Nakata.
Just last month, Kadokawa Pictures launched the website sadako-movie.jp. According to Anime News Network, the site would tease different images at 4:44 am and 4:44 pm (during those times, an image of a well would appear). There was also a short teaser video released.
As reported on Natalie, this has been to promote a new film in the Ring franchise, simply titled Sadako.
The original film was released back in 1998 and told of people watching a cursed video, after which they would receive a phone call telling them that they would die in seven days. Based on Koji Suzuki’s novel of the same name, it became one of the highest grossing horror films in Japan, spawning sequels and a US remake.
The new film is loosely based on Suzuki’s novel Tide, the sixth book in his Ring series which was published in 2013. Adapted for the screen by writer Noriaki Sugihara, it will focus on the origins of Sadako. It will also be directed by Hideo Nakata.
Sadako stars Elaiza Ikeda as a psychiatrist named Mayu Akikawa, who is looking after a girl that has lost her memory. It also stars Hiroya Shimizu as Kazuma Akikawa, a YouTuber and Mayu’s younger brother; Takashi Tsukamoto as Yūsuke, someone who gets involved in the Sadako curse; Rie Tomosaka as Hatsuko Sono, the mother of the amnesiac girl that Mayu is looking after; and Ren Kiriyama as Minoru Fujii, a fellow psychiatrist that works alongside Mayu.
A teaser poster was released, with the tagline, “Do not take a photo”. Possibly a suggestion that something bad will happen should you take a photo of Sadako. It might also be a reference to people that have been cursed by Sadako, as they find themselves blurred in photos.
Sadako is released in Japan on 24 May 2019.
If you’re a fan of the original film, or are too young to know what VHS is, Nakata’s Ringu will be back on the big screen with a newly restored HD transfer, courtesy of Arrow Films. It will be shown at select UK cinemas from 1 March 2019 ahead of its Blu-ray release on 18 March 2019.