Now We’re Rebooting Remakes: ‘The Grudge’ to Get Another American Version

The Grudge

Columbia Pictures

Here’s the thing with clichés – they become clichés because they’re at least somewhat rooted in the truth. Hollywood running out of ideas has been a running joke for quite some time now – a cliché, really – but that doesn’t mean it’s not actually true. How do we know it’s true? Because we’re rebooting remakes now. Rebooting remakes. Films that have already been through the remake wringer once, come out relatively clean on the other side, and are now being shoved through again. How much blood can we squeeze from one stone? Well, at least when it comes to this latest rebooted remake, there might be actual blood, because it’s a horror film that’s getting a fresh cut – The Grudge, specifically, as spawned by the Japanese hit Ju-On.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe are relaunching the franchise, which first hit American screens as the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring The Grudge back in 2004, as it sprung from the 2002 Japanese outing Ju-On. Takashi Shimizu directed both the Japanese original and the American take on the material were directed by (the helmer also directed all three of the Japanese sequels and the first American one), though he does not appear to be involved in this new outing.

The outlet also reports that the film is getting a new screenplay, thanks to Midnight Meat Train screenwriter Jeff Buhler (who is also working on another reboot – a new take on Jacob’s Ladder). There’s no word yet on either director or potential stars, but we’re going to assume that Gellar won’t be back and that the new Grudge team will be looking for some fresh meat. There’s also no indication on what will make this film different than either Ju-On or The Grudge, though the first American version was pretty loosely based on the Japanese film, so there was at least some wiggle room back in 2004 that could be toyed with now.

All of the Grudge films work off one basic premise: when someone dies in the midst of either big-time rage or super sorrow, it creates a curse that spirals outward to encompass new victims, all by way of a supernatural entity of just bad news emotion. Basically, if you die under extremely emotional circumstances, you will reborn as a particularly evil ghost. It’s nearly impossible to stop. It’s an easy plot to adjust for a new story, no matter how silly rebooting a remake actually sounds.

The American version of The Grudge made $187m at the worldwide box office, and produced two sequels – 2006’s The Grudge 2 (which starred Amber Tamblyn) and 2009’s The Grudge 3 (which starred Shawnee Smith) – and was by no means a letdown. The Ring remains the most successful of the J-horror remakes, pulling in $249m worldwide, but The Grudge’s numbers were nothing to sniff at.

Any ideas for this new Grudge? 

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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