Jennifer Garner To Star In Supernatural Japanese Thriller

Actress to extend Asian-export trend with 'Ghost'-like 'Be With You.'

When Naomi Watts wanted to make a name for herself while getting terrified, she looked to Japan’s “Ringu” (which, in turn, became “The Ring”). Jennifer Connelly may already be a star, but this summer she’ll similarly turn herself into a credible horror heroine by importing another blockbuster from our Asian neighbors, “Dark Water.” Adding to a trend that now also includes Sarah Michelle Gellar (“The Grudge”), Jennifer Garner will star in “Be With You,” an American-import version of the 2004 supernatural Japanese hit “Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu.”

Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to remake the film, with the “Alias” beauty starring as well as producing through her new company, Vandalia Films. One of the more popular of a recent wave of Japanese tear-jerkers, the “Ghost”-like film directed last year by Nobuhiro Doi recounts the story of a dying woman who tells her husband and 6-year-old son that she will return to them. Amidst an atmospheric rainy season a year later, the duo discover a woman suffering from amnesia. Taking her in, they are amazed by the similarities between the stranger and the woman they recently lost.

The fantasy-drama will be produced in America with the help of “American Beauty” producers Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen and the production company responsible for the Japanese original. The source material for the original version was a novel by Takuji Ichikawa.

The pregnant Garner recently made a splash onto the big screen with the romantic comedy “13 Going on 30,” then barely registered a drip a few months later with the clunky superhero flick “Elektra.” She just wrapped production on the comedy “Catch and Release” with Juliette Lewis and Kevin Smith, and will likely hold off the start date of “Be With You” while she prepares for her most important upcoming release, a yet-to-be-titled film alongside companion Ben Affleck.

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