Principal photography has begun on The Grudge 2, it was announced today by Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures. The film is the much-anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit The Grudge, which earned $188 million in worldwide box office receipts.
The Grudge 2 delves into the secrets behind the grudge’s wrath and introduces a seemingly unrelated host of new characters who find themselves connected by the same terrifying supernatural curse.
The movie stars Amber Tamblyn (Stephanie Daley, Joan Of Arcadia) with Sarah Michelle Gellar returning in her role as ‘Karen.’ Arielle Kebbel (upcoming Aquamarine) joins the growing ensemble cast with Jennifer Beals (The L Word) and newcomer Teresa Palmer (upcoming December Boys) co-starring.
Japanese actress Takako Fuji reprises her role as the terrorizing ‘Kayako,’ making it the fifth time that she has played this role�"three times in the Japanese Ju-On as well as the first installment of the English version. Ryo Ishibashi also returns briefly in a cameo as ‘Detective Nakagawa.’
Other supporting cast includes Japanese teen pop star Misako Uno of the popular group AAA in her feature film debut, Shaun Sipos (Complete Savages), and the well-known Chinese actor Edison Chen, who is best known for his role in Infernal Affairs, the 2002 hit Hong Kong film which is being remade by Martin Scorsese and set to be released as The Departed.
Also returning are director Takashi Shimizu, writer Stephen Susco, and producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise.
Producer Sam Raimi offers, “For The Grudge 2, Ghost House has reunited our original team led by master filmmaker Takashi Shimizu. It promises to deliver gripping sequences of suspense and shocking jolts that should have the fans of The Grudge part 1 leaping out of their seats and coming back to the theater again and again.”
Other key filmmakers returning for the second installment include Production Designer Iwao Saito who ingenuously designed the house for the first movie; Visual Effects Supervisor Hajime Matsumoto who handled the three Japanese versions of Ju-On as well as the English-language version; and Editor Jeff Betancourt (When A Stranger Calls, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose). In addition, Cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima who has made a name for himself in collaborating with respected Japanese writer/director Takeshi Kitano, in the recent cult classics “Zaoitchi: The Blind Swordsman” and “Dolls,” joins this talented group in his first English-language movie.
With the story still set in Tokyo, the production is shooting on location in various places around the metropolitan area as well as the famous Toho Studios, the largest sound stages in Japan. Filming began on Monday, Feb. 13, and is scheduled to wrap at the end of April. Columbia Pictures will release the movie on October 20, 2006, in the United States.
Mandate Pictures’ Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane executive produce alongside Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Doug Davison. Matt Tolmach and Shannon Gaulding are overseeing the production for Columbia. Michael Kirk and Drew Crevello will oversee for Ghost House, with Shintaro Shimosawa, as a Co-Producer, overseeing for Vertigo Entertainment.