The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki has signed on for a lead role in Paramount's horror sequel Rings, which is set 13 years after the events of the studio's 2002 thriller The Ring. In what is described as a massive departure from his role as nerdy scientist Leonard on CBS' The Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki is portraying Gabriel, a "handsome, pleasure-seeking professor" who mentors the young couple Julia (Matilda Lutz) and Holt (Alex Roe). Production is already under way on Rings in Atlanta.

The story centers on Holt and Julia, whose relationship begins to deteriorate after Holt watches a mysterious VHS tape. We reported yesterday that the character Aidan Keller from both The Ring and The Ring Two will be back in this sequel as an adult, but it isn't known if David Dorfman, who is now 22 years old, will reprise his role from the first two movies. Aimee Teegarden also stars in an unspecified role. Earlier rumors revealed that the plot will center on the origins of the mysterious VHS tape, and Samara Morgan's horrifying reign of terror, although those story aspects have yet to be confirmed.

F. Javier Gutiérrez is directing from a screenplay written by David Loucka and Akiva Goldsman. Paramount has already set a November 13, 2015 release date for the thriller, although it isn't known how long principal photography is expected to last. Aside from his role as Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki most recently starred in CBGB on the big screen.