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Trivia / The Ring

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Novels

  • No Export for You: Tide, the last book of the series, has yet to be translated to English. Previously, it took five years for S to get an English translation. The series only began to be brought to the Anglophone countries after the success of the American remake, with the English translation of Ring being published in 2003, a year after The Ring dropped in cinemas and well over a decade after the book was released in Japan in 1991.
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  • Sequel Gap: Koji Suzuki took a hiatus from writing the series after the publication of the anthology novel Birthday in 1999. The next sequel, S, wasn't published until 13 years later in 2012, coinciding with its film adaptation, Sadako 3D. This is reflected in-universe: the protagonist is 28-year-old Takanori Ando, whom we last known was a resurrected 3-year-old boy in Spiral.
  • Technology Marches On: Cursed videotape. While VHS tapes were ubiquitous in 1991 when the novel came out, by the time the 2002 American film came out it was already a declining format (by the time its sequel The Ring Two came out three years later, VHS was on its last legs). Many later adaptations get around this by switching the format of the curse, such as via a cursed CD in the Rasen TV series, via Web Video in Sadako 3D and Rings, and via smartphones in Sadako 3D 2.
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The Japanese films:

  • Baby Name Trend Killer: In Japan, the name Sadako is associated either with a real girl who died of illness from the Hiroshima bombing or with a fictional one that got shoved down a well. Needless to say, the name isn't too popular nowadays.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • China: Midnight Bell
    • Romania: Warning
    • Russia: Call
  • The Foreign Subtitle:
    • Brazil: Ring: The Call
    • Germany: Ring: The Original
    • Portugal: Ring: The Curse
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": The Dreamcast game The Ring: Terror's Realm was actually the very first Ring media to receive a wide release in the west (although the 1998 film had been shown at some western film festivals before that).
  • The Other Darrin: Sadako is played by a number of actresses over the years - Rie Inou (Ring, Ring 2), Hinako Saeki (Rasen), Yukie Nakama (Ring 0), Ai Hashimoto (Sadako 3D), Ayane Miura (Ring Kanzenban), Tae Kimura (Ring: The Final Chapter), and Akiko Yada (Rasen TV series).
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  • Prop Recycling: The "COPY" tape from the 2002 remake is the actual "COPY" tape from the 1998 original.
  • Referenced by...:
    • Animal Restaurant: Sadako's Well is a Halloween-themed wishing well that features Sadako hanging from its edge.
    • S-ko of Guilty Gear character Zappa's backstory is a very blatant expy of Sadako, if the name wasn't an indication; Zappa's Instant Kill pretty much has the opponent suffer from the cursed videotape.
  • Sequel Gap: Ring 0: Birthday was released in 2000. Its standalone followup, Sadako 3D, was released in 2012.

The American Remakes:

  • Billing Displacement: Brian Cox only has about four minutes of screen time, and doesn't appear until around an hour in. He's billed fourth in the credits.
  • California Doubling: The American remake was shot in various locations in Washington, Oregon and California, but the story only takes place in Washington.
  • Channel Hop: Rings was produced and distributed by Paramount, who gained the rights to The Ring and The Ring Two through their brief ownership of DreamWorks.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted in the first film, where Samara was played by then 12 year-old Daveigh Chase. Played straight in the second film, where she was played by then 27 year-old Kelly Stables.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • Samara's murder at the hands of her mother was far more graphic and detailed. The bag failed to subdue her, leading Anna to first try hitting her with a rock (which can be seen lying on the ground in some shots) and finally bashing her head against the well.
    • Rachel would ask some fishermen on the island about the Morgans, and they replied that they would never catch anything whenever Samara was around.
    • A different version of Rachel and Ruth talking that took place a day or two after the wake as opposed to during it. Rachel searches Katie's room, finding the ticket for photos, then she and Ruth discuss information Ruth got from Katie's friends. Ruth would angrily pull the closet door open, explaining that's where she found Katie's body. This is actually closer to the same scene in the original Japanese film.
  • Fake American: Rachel is played by British-born-Aussie Naomi Watts, Noah is played by New Zealander Martin Henderson, and Richard is played by Scottish Brian Cox.
  • Follow the Leader: After the success of this, numerous other Japanese horror films were given American remakes such as The Grudge, Dark Water, Pulse and One Missed Call.
  • Genre-Killer: This film, together with 28 Days Later that same year, effectively read the obituary for the teen horror genre of the mid-late '90s, and arguably for the slasher genre as a whole. While it was rated PG-13, it removed its Decoy Protagonist teenage characters from the picture after the opening scene and featured adult protagonists from there on out, while also eschewing the body-count slasher formula. Both it and 28 Days Later were sleeper hits that were widely acclaimed by critics and horror fans, and teen horror and slashers, which were already on life support by that time, mostly faded out in the '00s.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Samara's line, "Everyone will suffer.", which appears in the trailer of the first U.S. film, was left out of the final product.
  • Orphaned Reference: There was a storyline where Rachel shows the tape to a death row prisoner played by Chris Cooper. This was dropped, but a newspaper article about Cooper's character can still be seen.
  • The Other Darrin: Played straight in The Ring 2 where Daveigh Chase, who had played Samara in the first film, was replaced by Kelly Stables. Zig-zagged by Rings, where Bonnie Morgan took over the role... after previously being Stables' stunt double in the previous film.
  • Sequel Gap: The Ring Two was released in 2005 while Rings was released in 2017.
  • Shrug of God: In the American remake, fans of the film note that the victims of Samara look like they'd been drowned, which would make sense considering Samara's predicament. However, both Gore Verbinski and makeup FX artist Dick Smith said that wasn't their intention. They just wanted to make them look creepy.
  • Sleeper Hit: The filmmakers telegraphed this one. It was released in limited theatres one weekend before Halloween, with the plan that if it did well then they could expand it just in time for Halloween. They also edited some of the blood and graphic imagery to get a PG-13 rating. It worked, and the film is now the highest-grossing horror remake in history.
  • What Could Have Been
    • David Lynch was asked to direct the film (coincidentally Mulholland Dr. producer Neal Edelstein also produced this movie), but he declined. Presumably, he didn't want to relive in the same experience of directing Dune (1984). You can guess that's how Naomi Watts got casted into this.
    • Jennifer Connelly was the first choice for Rachel. She had problems with the character, especially about how she was a negligent parent. She wanted changes made to the script and eventually departed. The second choice was Gwyneth Paltrow, but she wasn't interested. Kate Beckinsale was also considered.
    • The original ending had the video getting placed in a video store dropbox and placed on a shelf of recommended videos. This would have implied that the Ring virus would spread across Seattle and possibly the entire country.
    • In a deleted scene, Noah finds the innkeeper's corpse in the middle of the lake near the cabins. It is hinted he had watched the videotape and tried to flee Samara.
    • The creators of the American version also had plans to include an all-CG scene which takes place inside a VCR when the cursed videotape is created. This never went beyond pre-visualization, although some of it is seen in the trailer.
    • For the American version, a card announcing Samara's birth was made, but it didn't appear in the film.

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