Back To The Well: Sequel Planned For 'The Ring'

Actress Naomi Watts slated to return in follow-up to money-making thriller.

Jason, Freddy, Michael and Chucky, get ready to rumble. Devilish little well-dwelling gal Samara just may ignite a horror franchise of her own, kicking off with a sequel to the supernatural hit "The Ring."

Producer Walter Parkes has confirmed plans for a second "Ring" flick set to include Naomi Watts as emotionally troubled reporter Rachel Keller. The sequel may also see the return of director Gore Verbinski and writer Ehren Kruger.

Based on a Japanese horror movie, "The Ring" has rung up more than $100 million at the box office. A slow-building mystery centered on a videotape that kills viewers seven days after they watch it, "The Ring" drew heavily from Japan's "Ringu," but the sequel's plot will steer clear of its overseas counterparts.

"In Japan, there is both a sequel and a prequel, as well as a movie that was part of a trilogy that the original novel of 'Ring' was part of," Parkes said. "What was interesting about the original Japanese 'Ring' was that it was a real merging of two different sensibilities, as is our version, I think. It offers the conventions of classic horror genre. It starts with almost a homage to those teen horror movies. But the mystery that it leads you to is rather unanswerable and ambiguous, which is very typical of Japanese film and literature. ... The Japanese prequel and sequel are way over on the Japanese side of things. They're extremely abstract and confusing."

So what will we see in the American sequel?

"It's gonna be tough because the original sell of the movie was the idea of this haunted video tape," he explained. "Really the movie is much more involved in Rachel following the clues and discovering this girl named Samara, and what's her story? So it's really more the revelation of the mystery of how the tape came to be. Since we've now told that story, we're going to have to go back and create another mystery for the sequel. I don't think the sequel can merely be the story of the videotape going out in the world again, because that will only take you so far."

So the sequel may focus more on Samara, the scary youngster with the long black hair and the vacant stare, than on the tape itself.

"Samara is the thing that lives on," Parkes said. "It might be interesting to explore how she was created in the first place, because we don't know that. We just know that she was adopted. We don't know how she came into this world. One of the things we've talked about is doing a dual point perspective — cutting between how Samara came into this world and what's happening in the present day. The only thing we know [for sure] is that we're going to try to come up with a really good idea."