The original Ring film was released in Japan in 1998 and was directed by Hideo Nakata. It is an adaptation of Koji Suzuki’s horror novel of the same name about a cursed video that when watched kills the viewer seven days after watching. The next entry to the famous horror series will be Sadako hitting Japanese cinemas on May 24, 2019.
Japanese actress Hitomi Satō played the part of Masami Kurahashi in the original 1998 movie who, despite encountering Sadako―the haunting antagonist of the film franchise―miraculously survived. She reprised her role again in the 1999 sequel, Ring 2.
It has been announced that Satō will once again play her character in the new film―20 years later.
Elaiza Ikeda plays the main character Mayu Akigawa, a psychology counsellor working at a mental hospital. She becomes interested in one of her female patients who seems very peculiar.
The film’s director Hideo Nakata has described her having an innate disposition when it comes to acting, and so it will be interesting to see how Hitomi Satō’s role will play out as a survivor of Sadako.
Speaking about this, Nakata commented: “She played the part magnificently, bringing together that distinct tension born from a mix of horror and everyday life.” Satō herself also remarked, “It’s not a blur for [Nakata] at all. It’s exactly like it was back then (laughs)[when filming the original]. He’s always talking about it (laughs).”
Their mutual trust in each other only propels the excitement to seeing her role reprised. What will happen when she encounters Sadako once more, after having crawled out alive from the curse?
Below are the full statements from both Hitomi Satō and Hideo Nakata.
Hitomi Satō (Masami Kurahashi): ‘I was taken aback when I received the offer. I remembered, “Oh yeah, I survived!!” and felt really happy and wondered to myself how interesting it would be if I was to return after having survived 20 years ago. I hope everybody looks forward to seeing how [Masami] is 20 years on. The films Nakata makes really are scary… Rather than having fun I want you to be scared out of your pants (laughs).’
Hitomi Satō (Director): ‘When Satō finished filming her part in the first Rings equence, I was really happy for her to bring to my attention that she wanted to be in it longer. And so in Ring 2, I had her play a very important role―an eyewitness and survivor of Sadako. In this film, although 20 years have passed, Satō is still able to vividly convey Sadako’s image to Elaiza. We had countless auditions for Ring, but the moment I saw Satō, who was then a teenager, and her innate disposition for acting, I said “she’s the one!” I have seen her playing vital parts in recent dramas and scenes too, so I requested she come on board a third time. She played the part magnificently, bringing together that distinct tension born from a mix of horror and everyday life, something which Elaiza also now has.’
The film will star Elaiza Ikeda as the main character Mayu Akigawa, a psychology counsellor who gets involved in an incident with Yusuke Ishida, played by Takashi Tsukamoto, who will try to fix it. Hiroya Shimizu will play the part of Mayu’s younger brother Kazuma Akigawa who becomes a YouTuber to try and awaken Sadako’s curse. Himeka Himejima will play Jinko, a mysterious girl who lost her memory and is taken in at the hospital Mayu works at. Renn Kiriyama will play Mayu’s colleague Minori Fujii.
Release Date: May 24, 2019
Official Website: sadako-movie.jp
©2019 “Sadako” Production Committee
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