Johnny Galecki has signed up to portray one of the lead characters in the upcoming third instalment to The Ring franchise, a film titled Rings. Galecki is joined in the cast by both Alex Roe and Matilda Lutz, and it’s been teased that it will be a complete departure from the actor’s work on The Big Bang Theory.

Deadline was the first to report that Johnny Galecki has signed on the dotted line for Rings, and they’ve also confirmed that he will be playing a character named Gabriel. Described as a "handsome, pleasure-seeking professor," he assists Holt (Alex Roe) and Julia (Matilda Lutz), a boyfriend and girlfriend who have viewed the franchise’s famed cursed videotape which leaves everyone who watches it dead seven days later.

Johnny Galecki will be directed by F. Javier Gutierrez for Rings, and the Spanish filmmaker is working from a script written by screenwriters David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes and Akiva Goldsman. This casting announcement is actually coming a bit late, as the movie is already in production down in Atlanta, with Paramount hoping that they can get the horror flick into cinemas for just after Halloween on the spooky date of Friday, November 13th.

The studio is surely quietly confident that Rings will prove to be somewhat of a success. That’s because the two previous instalments to the franchise grossed $411 million when they were released. Based on Japan’s Ringu, 2002’s The Ring grossed $249 million at the box office, and it also helped to prove Australian actress Naomi Watts’ box-office credentials, and propelled its director Gore Verbinski up the Hollywood echelon. Following the horror movie, he went on to direct the first three instalments to the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.

The only thing potentially hurting Rings’ potential is the fact that 2005’s The Ring Two was less successful than its predecessor – both critically and financially. Provided the new sequel is good enough, however, there’s no reason to believe that the film could get the franchise back up on its feet. Also, Paramount will be hoping that Johnny Galecki’s appearance in the film will help to lure the millions of viewers that watch The Big Bang Theory every week to cinemas, so they can see him on the big screen.

Galecki, who has portrayed Leonard Hofstadter on The Big Bang Theory for eight seasons now, will also be using this as an opportunity to prove to the world that he’s more than just a loveable nerd with an insatiable crush on his neighbor. And it sounds like his character in Rings could do just that for him, and when it’s coupled with the recent revelation that he’s opened his own Warner Bros. based production label (Alcide Bava Productions), it suggests that the actor is already planning for the next stage of his career.

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