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The third installment of The Ring horror movie franchise, Rings, was originally scheduled for release this Fall. But the film has hit a huge snag and the studio, Paramount Pictures, announced that the release will now be pushed back to sometime in 2016.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Paramount has un-circled November 13, which was the original release date for the film, and that the film will open "sometime next year." Rings, originally titled The Rings 3D, stars The Big Bang Theory cast member Johnny Galecki, Matilda Lutz, and English actor Alex Roe, and will presumably attempt to find a yet a third way to employ the "cursed videotape that kills you days after you watch it" set up.
That theme already seemed strained in the previous effort, The Ring Two, which performed well at the box office and actually enjoyed a higher opening weekend haul than the original American adaptation. The Ring, which opened in 2002, put actress Naomi Watts on the map, grossed $249 million, and cost only $48 million to produce, making it one of the highest grossing horror movies of all time.
The franchise is based on the Japanese novel Ringu written by Koji Suzuki, and the Western adaptation followed the story of fairly accurately. The novel was initially adapted in Japan in 1998, and, along with similarly successful Japanese genre titles released around the same time, including Ju-On: The Grudge and Dark Water, ushered in a popular style of restrained, tension-based horror that came to be known as "J-horror." The U.S. jumped on this popularity, turning out American remakes of all of those films.
What is interesting to note is that Suzuki wrote a sequel to the novelized Ringu…several of them actually, with the second book in the series entitled Spiral, which was itself made into a Japanese horror film. So, for those following along, Koji Suziki wrote a book which was made into a film. He then wrote four more books in what has been dubbed the "Ring Trilogy." Of those, the first was made into a film, which was then given a sequel. The second book, itself the actual sequel to the first, was also made into a standalone film, but given no sequel. So, in reality, the Japanese version of The Ring has two sequels, but not how like most American movies have two sequels, with a part 2 and then a part 3, but rather the original has two direct sequels. Crazy, right?
It gets even more twisted. According to the director, F. Javier Gutierrez, Rings was initially intended to be a prequel to The Ring, which also already exists in the Japanese canon with the 2000 release of Ring 0: Birthday. In addition, Suzuki’s fifth novel in the series, S, spawned a 2012 Japanese film adaptation called Sadako 3D, which was itself sequelized a year later in Sadako 3D 2.
Now, if you’re thoroughly confused, consider this…how awesome would it have been to see Samara climbing up out of that well…IN 3D!? Maybe someday.