It may all be a little foggy now, but back in 2002 the success of Gore Verbinski’s remake of Hideo Nakata’s “The Ring” kicked off what would quickly become a Japanese horror film remake frenzy. While limp entries into the subgenre like “Shutter” or “The Eye” would eventually help cannibalize the market for these films later in the decade, the success of the first “The Ring” would bring Nakata’s own talents stateside for a sequel, along with seeing Jennifer Connonly star in a remake of his “Dark Water,” directed by Walter Salles of all people.
Well it looks as if Nakata is looking to continue on the path of horror-tinged fare with his upcoming project “The Suicide Forest,” an adaptation of IDW’s graphic novel for “The Ring” and “The Grudge” producers Roy Lee and Taka Ichise. The pair are now looking for a screenwriter to tell the tale of the first entry in the series of four graphic novels written by El Torres, which revolves around Aokigahara, a forest outside Tokyo that is best known for being the most famous suicide spot in the entire world. Spirits apparently haunt these very woods, and when an American expatriate living in Tokyo enlists the help of a forest ranger to combat an evil spirit of the forest who’s haunting him, things go south. Certainly seems to be in the vein of the sort of haunting from “The Ring,” so Nakata is certainly playing within his wheelhouse.
It’ll be interesting to see just how Nakata strays from the formula he helped construct with the likes of “The Ring,” with material that seems potentially ripe with terror. No studio is attached at this time, so we’re still a ways away from going into production, but we’ll have to keep an eye on this as it goes along.