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December 05 2005

SMG Holds Another Grudge. SMG is reprising her role in the follow up to The Grudge, aptly titled The Grudge 2. Filming starts in January for an October 06 release.

I guess the money was good.

Thats a real suprise. I wasnt expecting her to sign on for this. I dont know if I really wanted her too. But I guess if the money was good...well who isnt going to take it?
I tend to agree, Apocalypse. She has so many other projects going on that I wonder why she decided to do the sequel. Decent money offer, plus a good relationship with Shimizu-san, I'm guessing. Still, what with the diverse range of movies she's being featured in (Southland Tales, Alice, Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing, The Air I Breathe, and The Project Formerly Titled Revolver - whew, tires me just to write them), there's little danger of her being written off as a horror star only now, methinks.
The real reason to click the link is to read the screenwriter say he wants the plot to feel like a natural evolution of the first film's story. Well, he wrote the first flick, but obviously didn't see it. Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan had better plot twists and compelling characters than The Grudge.

Combine that with the fact the first film was as scary as Clifford (the dog, not Martin Short), and I'll probably skip this one in theaters.

Which is sad, since I was horror-"companion" enough to see Boogeyman and The Fog.
Wow, that girl is super busy. More power to her.
I quite enjoyed The Grudge, so I'll be keeping an eye out for this. It certainly had some translation problems, but overall it was interesting. Also, very high grossing film at the time - I'm willing to bet SMG has been made a good pay offer for this, or she was already contracted to do it via the first film contract.
If Gellar definitely has signed to do this (there is nothing on the Ghost House Pictures website about it), it presumably means filming on 'The Air I Breathe' has been re-scheduled. That one was supposedly due to go into production in January.

Personally, I really like 'The Grudge' (and 'Ju-On: The Grudge') in all its many variations. I would have been interested to see this without Gellar's involvement, but now it becomes another SMG film to look forward to. There can't be too many as far as I'm concerned.
Cool. I thought The Grudge was one of the best movies I'd seen in ages. It didn't insult my intelligence unlike say Resident Evil. I look forward to seeing Sarah in the sequel.
I actually enjoyed the film. The mood i was in that day actually let the movie creep me out a bit. I think it really all depends on what your thinking and if you're with somebody. If you go into it expecting not to be scare, you probably won't. And if you go with other people you tend to react differently than if you were by yourself. It's weird, but I think it's true. I'm glad SMG is doing Grudge 2.
All of the signs suggest that she wasn't contracted for a sequel through her initial contract. Good for her though. I'll be going to see it. I'm curious about how it'll all work out though since The Air I Breathe is scheduled to shoot at the same time. Stephen Susco said something about some of TG2 not being shot in Japan, so maybe that's got something to do with it. I suppose we'll see. She certainly deserves a big paypacket for this film given how well the first did.
I enjoyed The Grudge. Hopefully a sequel can hold up better than most sequels do, because it was a good scare.
I remember reading that the budget for this film is going to be roughly the same as it was for the first film (which was $10 million). It's a very sensible decision. It doesn't have to break box office records to make money.
Welcome to the B-list.
gossi said:

Also, very high grossing film at the time


And the second is going to belly flop into discount theaters. The Grudge made $110 million for one reason: The Ring. Considering Ring Two dropped to $76 million domestically (after the first grossed $130 million), there's no way The Grudge 2 makes more than $60 million, considering a general dislike from the public (I'm basing this on reactions of people I know, combined with the fact used DVD shops can't get rid of copies), and the fact it's going to open the same weekend as Saw 3.
Chirp: I think that's a bit harsh given the lineup of films she's signed up for. Plus A-listers do more than their fair share of sequels. Sony certainly don't seem to view her as a B-lister since they credit her with much of the success of the original and have obviously done some chasing to get her to sign on for this one.

The Dark Shape: The difference is that this film is going to have a very similar budget to the original (unlike what happened with The Ring, where both were much more costly). If it made $60 million domestically, it'd already be in the black and would presumably go on to make a very nice profit worldwide.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-12-05 20:28 ]
I still haven't seen The Grudge yet. I will at some point though, and really anything at this stage is good for Sarah's career which is looking very promising at the moment. I just hope it doesn't end up as a really bad film, as horror sequels tend to do.
I cannot say I agree with the comments that appear to be either criticising Gellar and/or her apparent decision to sign to the sequel. For myself, I cannot imagine wishing ill towards any of the actors, writers, directors, crew, etc of 'Buffy'. I hope they all get the chance to have long careers.

Regarding Gellar's alleged fast-track towards the "b-list" (which I take to be intended as a slight), perhaps we might consider the fact that if 'Serenity' had achieved a similar box office gross to 'The Grudge' a sequel would have been a certainty, something I am sure everybody here would welcome. It also seems a little premature to be writing off the prospects of 'The Grudge 2', given that the film hasn't even gone into production yet. I prefer to be optimistic.
You have the same writer, the same director (Shimizu, between this and Ju-On: The Grudge 3, don't you want to do anything different?), apparently the same main character, the same locations, and probably the same crew. I've never found any of the Ju-On films to be particularly stirring, but the American Grudge is easily the worst of the lot.

I'll be optimistic when talented people are involved, or when said previous filmmakers learn to tell a story, not string together a series of half-baked scares.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2005-12-05 21:35 ]
The Dark Shape, we get that you didn't like The Grudge. No need to belabor the point.

Personally, I'm just not a huge one for sequels - the strength of the original idea rarely extends to "more of the same," unless the original idea was plotted as a multi-parter, a la LOTR. And the exceptions, such as Aliens (which I still find inferior to the original) tend only to prove the rule. But, again, looks unlikely that SMG is about to descend to the straight-to-video market on the strength of this one flick.
It's time for a Episode III moment here. Here it comes: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!".... I mean sure, I love the girl but the point of The Grudge is that everyone dies and there are no outs. And if she's returning that probably means that she didn't die in the first movie. Personally I can think of storyline that would work with her in it (for example the main plot of the original The Grudge 2) but I don't trust the studio to be that brave.
Djungelurban, there were ghosts in the first one, so why not in the second?
Well, still some thinly veiled "Sarah haters" about I see. A sequel can be quite good, even better than the original...remember "Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan" or "Godfather II"? The remark about "when talented people are involved" is rather transparent, so...Sarah isn't a talented actress?
Calledon, there's no need to resort to such language as "Sarah haters." Let's not get into all that again, please.

I agree with your view of the Star Trek and Godfather sequels, but I still feel that is the extremely rare case, particularly, I think, when the original doesn't have the source material that those movies had.
Yeah, she could definitely be a ghost, that would work. But I bet she'll be the lead once again and thus sort of smear the whole Grudge mythology.
I hope Sarah's other movies come out before this.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-12-05 23:51 ]
With a production budget of $10m, it doesn't really need to pull massive numbers.
Well SNT, I go out of my way to be as "gentle" as possible and not offend anyone...unfortunately some folks don't extend the same courtesy to Sarah. I apologize for my choice of words but it does seem descriptive and accurate to me. I agree the two sequels I mentioned would be considered the exception rather than the rule but still...isn't it somewhat negative to assume Grudge II would not be another exception? Last I read, Grudge had done over $186 million worldwide, not bad for a small budget movie and certainly, at least in my lowly opinion, worthy of a sequel.
I appreciate your approach, C. And no need to describe your opinion, as valid as anyone else's, as "lowly." Still, in my experience the use of expressions like "hater" tend only to ossify positions on each side.

And, although I've probably taken up enough of everyone's time on this, it is a theme that tends to recur here, so: in general, let's please address the substance of each comment rather than the motivations we imagine lie behind it. In nearly every case, the comment speaks for itself. Thanks.
Another two sequels that matched, if not surpassed, the quality of the first movie ... Ghostbusters 2 and Die Hard 2 ... in my humble opinion, naturally! :)

Strange, don't think i've ever had reason to mention Die Hard here at Whedonesque before and yet today i've mentioned the movies twice in two seperate threads. Coincidence or fate telling me to get out my DVD boxset tonight as there is nothing else worth watching on telly? Hmmmmm! :)
Hmmmm Die Hard 2? I'd gone with Die Hard 3 but then I adore the Irons. Ghostbusters 2 was such a disappointment, I'm a huge fan of the original and occassionally tinker with the idea of writing a Buffy or Angel/Ghostbusters crossover fanfic.

Now Superman II, there's a sequel that surpassed the original.
I've noticed the Die Hard love, VWAG.

- Jeez! You give me this story and I'll have your baby!
- Not the kind of ride I'm looking for.
But I bet she'll be the lead once again and thus sort of smear the whole Grudge mythology.

Thinking back to the original, she was very much regarded as the lead (and was certainly the focal point of the promotional campaign), but that didn't mean she had huge amounts of screentime. So even if she is regarded as the lead for this second film, that doesn't have to mean that her character is in it any more than 3 or 4 others. From what the writer has said, I also don't expect the whole mythology to be smeared or forgotten about. There could be flashbacks, her character could be in ghost form etc. They've had quite a while to think about the story they're going to tell in this film. So I'm hopeful it'll work out well.
Simon, must admit that i'm a big fan of the third Die Hard myself. Irons' Simon came so very close to matching the excellence of Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber, but not quite! I'm surprised you were disappointed with Ghostbusters 2 though, i thought it was an excellent movie. How can you not love Vigo, the campest ghost ever to step out of a painting and a walking Statue of Liberty? :)

Gossi, have i been that transparent? ;)
Eddy, The Grudge 2 is due out in the UK on October 20th 2006 and presumably in the US at least a week earlier.

Untitled movie seems to be out early September in the US and Southland Tales is due September 15th in the UK and presumably earlier in the US

So at least 2 of her other movies are scheduled to open before TG2.
Simon! A Ghostbusters/Buffy fic would be too cool. Especially since that exchange with Spike and Buffy in the basement:

"Who you gonna call?

-beat-

...That phrase won't ever be safe again, will it?"
Calladen said:

.Sarah isn't a talented actress?


My comment was directed more towards the people behind the camera. But to be honest, Sarah was something of a non-factor for me in the first one. She didn't do badly and she didn't take away from the movie, but I wouldn't have noticed at all if someone else played the part, and I doubt The Grudge 2 would suffer much if she wasn't involved.

And since when does box office success equal a good movie? Friday the 13th grossed $80 million two and a half decades ago and held its own against The Empire Strikes Back, but it's still a terrible flick.
My theory, and please feel free to disagree with me, is that 'The Grudge 2' will be receive reviews, that are either good or bad, will take whatever it takes at the box office (making it a hit or a flop), which probably won't be affected much one way or another by the reviews, will be liked by some people, hated by others and largely ignored by everybody else. It will be just one of several SMG films released over the next twelve to eighteen months and, in the final analysis, will probably prove to be relatively harmless.

The fact that everything Gellar does, says, and is claimed to have done or said, seems to provoke opinion, one way or another, means something, I'm just not sure what that is.
Sorry dbp, I don't want to start an argument here but I cannot in all conscience agree with anything you have said here.
I would either agree or disagree with what you said, dbp, if I could work out what it is you said. Are you essentially saying (and correct me if I'm wrong) "it's only a movie"? Which is certainly true, but I try not to discount the passions of those who see it as a bit more than that.

And, I'll hazard a guess and say that SMG provokes opinions on this board because we're "insiders," so to speak (although those opinions can get quite heated, to be sure). To the general public, I'm sure she provokes very little reaction whatsover. 'Cos, you know, Paris, Lindsay, Jessica (both of them), and Jennifer are waay more fascinating . . .
Well I'm glad to hear she signed on. The Japanese horror scene may not be much more varied than the american, (we're drowning in manicas with knives, they in girl ghosts with long black hair) but at least it's more subtle and prefers atmosphere and creeps over crudeness and gore.

I'm curious what story they're going to take. I've seen both Ju-On 1 and 2 and while 2 was okay, it certainly was a rerun of 1 in many ways. But the way the Grudge ended was so different from Ju On that a very different story would be a certainty. And I'm curious what will happen to Sarah's character now that she's the sole survivor between movies. I think the Ring 2's mistake was to stay too close to Ringu II which was in my opinion atrocious.

But it's possible that the japanese ghost movies have run their course in the US. No way of predicting. But if dreck like the Fog can still have an opening weekend like it did...

As for Sarah's choice, why wouldn't she sign on? She was instrumental in the making of the first, she enjoyed the experience and it was a success. If it can capitalize on the first the way that The Ring II, then it would make Sarah's face on the big screen yet a little more established to the mainstream. I say go for it. However I do share some people's reservation with sequels. The Godfather, Empire Strikes Back, Superman II, Aliens, X-Men II are definitely exaples in my book of successful sequels, but they are rare. (I only like Die Hard 1 I'm afraid. To each their own)

BUt discussions about what 'is' or 'isn't' scary are pointless. Scary, funny and sexy are reactions a person has or doesn't have. It can't be explained if it's not felt and it's pointless to 'blame' others for having one reaction or another. I think Freddy Krueger is funny. I think Friday the 13th movies are boring Halloween rip offs. I think Blair Witch and the Japanese horror movies I mentioned are nice and creepy. Plenty would disagree. To each their own.

It's like arguing over liking oysters or snails;-)
Oysters. No, snails. No, oysters. Wait, what were my choices again?

Can't believe I forgot X-Men II. IMO, that was a lot better than the first. Oh, and Spidey II was also a superior sequel.
Some other good sequels: Robocop II, Dawn of the Dead, Gremlins II, Austin Powers II and III, Men In Black II, Rocky, Rambo, Terminator II, Lethal Weapon
SNT, i'm with you in that i really can't believe that i forgot X-Men 2, one of my favourite films EVER! Not to mention Austin Powers 2 and 3, as mentioned by Callendon. All fantastic sequels.

On the flipside of this debate, i would have to admit that the sequel is not always a good idea. I'm a great fan of the original Highlander movie and the television series that later followed but the movie sequel was an absolute disaster. In fact it is so badly regarded that it has gained itself a joke tagline amongst the fanbase: "Highlander 2: There should have been only one!".
I liked the Grudge, but we don't need a sequel. And, definitively, we don't need a sequel with Sarah's character, after the events (and mythology) of the first movie.
I hope it will be some kind of flashback, I don't want this to turn into The Ring 2 (I really loved the first one, but the second is so... bad).

Anyway, she must shoot 'The Air I Breath' in January too.
I usually do not like horror flicks at all (The fog, Saw etc, etc) but I gave THE GRUDGE a shot because of SMG and the fact it was directed by a Japanese director and set in Japan. I like the fact that it was so obvious that they were in Japan, a nation I have never visited. My favorite scene is when she is in the grocery store opening a box of some food items and smelling it. I have been in grocery stores in various European countries and ALMOST doen teh same thing.
(Heck, ebing that I am currently in the US I still feel lost in grocery stores and other settings in teh community).
"
"Highlander 2: There should have been only one!".

Hissssss!! Don't speak that name!! It' burnss usss! It burrnnsss!!

Besides, that movie was never made. There was only one Highlander movie. You see, after seeing that sequel, I went back in time and prevented them from ever starting on that atrocit-

*Ahem*. I may have said too much.
Too late. We're on to you now...
I'm a huge fan of the original and occassionally tinker with the idea of writing a Buffy or Angel/Ghostbusters crossover fanfic.


Dude. Simon. We need to do that. Ghostbusters is in my top 20...I know the characters...I wrote a teleplay for a live-action pilot...we need to do this.

Ghostbusters in the Buffyverse? Tres bien!!!
Correct me if Im wrong but wasnt sarah about to be killed a horrible death at the end of "the Grudge"? When they realise the "curse" is still there and its behind sarah and it ends? Dont tell me theyre going to cheap theyre way out of that and that she miraculously survives, when knowone else ever did. I liked the Idea that knowone survived, like what happened in the Japanese version, everyone died and the curse goes on...

Ahh well, good to see sarahs doing well. Cant wait for Southland Tales!
I don't see how the usual angst about sequels applies here. Ju-on was already a series before The Grudge was made. And while my take was also that SMG's character was either dead or soon to be at the end, that doesn't preclude her returning as a main character in this story, does it?

For those wanting Southland Tales news, a transcript of the latest Richard Kelly interview is here.

[ edited by
dreamlogic on 2005-12-06 10:51 ]
I don't know, it looks on the surface to be good news, but I have a gut feeling that public tastes have moved on. The fate of the last 2 movies to capitalize on creepy Japanese ghost fare, The Ring 2, Dark Water was mediocre, and the fact that while The Grudge did well at the box office, no one I know who saw it thought it was that memorable, I'm thinking this may not have been the smartest career choice.

Also, while some sequels are not automatically inferior to the original, they usually are caught up in a game of diminishing returns. Just a rule of thumb, like translating a book to the screen or re-making a foreign movie, a sequel usually doesn't have the power of the original.
EdDantes said:

Besides, that movie was never made. There was only one Highlander movie. You see, after seeing that sequel, I went back in time and prevented them from ever starting on that atrocit-


Oh, how we wish this was true! That movie came very close to destroying the entire concept of Highlander with it's strange idea that the Immortals were aliens from another world and that the concept of "there can be only one" was only the case unless you happened to call out the name of an old friend, bringing them back from the dead in a bolt of lightning. Kind of defeats the entire point of the Gathering, doesn't it!

Anyway, Highlander 5 is currently in production (with two more promised as part of a new trilogy) and, believe it or not, is threatening to actually be the first truly good Highlander sequel. Time will tell.
If I didn't know much about Japan I might not have liked The Grudge but all the Japanese elements made it a great movie for me. I can see how some non-Asian moviegoers would be turned off by some Japanese style and such, but I thought it was an impressive film. Kind of a US/Japanese hybrid film. Very cool. I'm looking forward to the next.
When they realise the "curse" is still there and its behind sarah and it ends? Dont tell me theyre going to cheap theyre way out of that and that she miraculously survives, when knowone else ever did.

While it's certainly true that nobody else has ever survived long-term, they've certainly had encounters with the curse and lived. Sarah's character in the first film had numerous encounters, including in the shower, on the bus, in the house while it was burning; all before what we were presumably supposed to assume was the final encounter. But if it turns out that that wasn't the final encounter for whatever reason, then there's no reason why her death couldn't have been delayed without ruining the mythology.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-12-06 18:36 ]
good point, I really hope they do a good job with the sequel. Id like Sarah to get the more adult and harder roles she wants in the future.
Too late. We're on to you now...

Sigh....now I have to kill you all....

Oh, how we wish this was true! That movie came very close to destroying the entire concept of Highlander with it's strange idea that the Immortals were aliens from another world and that the concept of "there can be only one" was only the case unless you happened to call out the name of an old friend, bringing them back from the dead in a bolt of lightning. Kind of defeats the entire point of the Gathering, doesn't it!

Yeah, that was the movie that taught me that the pain stops if you bang your head on the table a bunch of times in a row. Blessed oblivion...

Anyway, Highlander 5 is currently in production (with two more promised as part of a new trilogy)

5 in production? New trilogy?? I wish I could say that sounds like good news.

and, believe it or not, is threatening to actually be the first truly good Highlander sequel. Time will tell.

I suppose it's not entirely completely impossible but they've said that about the last three and I'm still hurtin'. And could they come up with something other than 'oh there's yet ANOTHER Gathering, and there is some evil immortal who's REALLY the strongest ever and we sure hope he don't win!' for once?

While it's certainly true that nobody else has ever survived long-term, they've certainly had encounters with the curse and lived. Sarah's character in the first film had numerous encounters, including in the shower, on the bus, in the house while it was burning; all before what we were presumably supposed to assume was the final encounter. But if it turns out that that wasn't the final encounter for whatever reason, then there's no reason why her death couldn't have been delayed without ruining the mythology.

Yeah we never saw her die. But I do hope they do something more with it than just another string of people getting killed by the curse. It was fine for the first one but I felt it started to wear thin in Ju On II. Maybe some reason why Sarah survived? As long as she's not just cameoing as 'ghost of previous victim'. Cuz that would be on the lame end of things.
EdDantes:

I suppose it's not entirely completely impossible but they've said that about the last three and I'm still hurtin'. And could they come up with something other than 'oh there's yet ANOTHER Gathering, and there is some evil immortal who's REALLY the strongest ever and we sure hope he don't win!' for once?


Well the good news about this one is that it's been put entirely in the hands of those that made all the best episodes of the television series so good, not to mention the fact the Dimension is no longer pulling the strings so they actually have a semi-decent budget to work with. The fourth movie, Endgame, had the potential to be so damn good and yet those behind the scenes with the tight purse strings made the intended story almost impossible to tell. That shouldn't be the case this time. Add the fact that Joe Dawson and Methos will actually be allowed to play major roles in this one, as they should have in Endgame, and you just might see the first successful Highlander movie since the original.

I won't put any of the story information here for fear of spoiling anyone that doesn't want to know but if you are interested in finding out a little about the general plot for the movie (currently called The Source) then have a look at Highlander Worldwide. It's got a lot of imformation there and a link to the official movie site.

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