New Grudge Confirmed to Take Place at Same Time as First American Remake

The long history of films in Japan's Ju-on franchise makes for a complicated narrative, with 2004's American remake The Grudge being inspired by the third film in the series, with the upcoming The Grudge confirmed to be taking place at the same time that film was set. Entertainment Weekly confirmed that the new film from director Nicolas Pesce is just another chapter in the franchise, set during the events of the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring film, with this new chapter taking place in a small suburban town in America while that film took place in Japan. The Grudge is set to land in theaters on January 3, 2020.

“The beauty of The Grudge franchise, both the American and Japanese iterations, is it’s an anthology series. Every movie is a different story of different characters having different interactions with this curse,” Pesce shared with the outlet. “In today’s age where we’re remaking everything, I thought it would be fun to dive into The Grudge universe where we don’t have to remake anything, but rather a new chapter in this canon.”

The original film told the story of a man who murders his family when he discovers that his wife has fallen in love with another man. The spirits of the household are so powerful, they return from the grave to kill the man responsible for the horrific crimes. Birthing a curse that extended well past familial connections, the spirits would go on to kill anyone who inhabited the house.

The new film stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, and Jacki Weaver. Much like previous entries, the new film will follow multiple characters whose stories all intertwine.

“We follow [Riseborough's character], as well as two other storylines, that are all interacting with this grudged house in small town America,” Pesce pointed out. “Like the old films, it’s a tapestry of three different stories that interweave and all take place at slightly different times, centered around this one house that’s at the center of this case that this cop is working on.”

The American version of the franchise earned three entries, though the Japanese storyline earned nine films, in addition to novels, comic books, and video games.

Earlier this year, Pesce teased that this new take on the film will feel more like a procedural about serial killers than the expected supernatural story.

“The movie is set up a lot more like Seven, that sort of movie,” Pesce explained of his take on the concept. “There’s a cop drama that drives the whole thing, and Andrea is the lead detective on this new case that they’ve come upon, and is the driving force through the movie. She’s incredible. She’s in absolutely everything and, when you see her act, you know why.”

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See The Grudge in theaters on January 3, 2020.

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