It's not easy, making Rings. When director Gore Verbinski declined to helm the sequel to his 2002 version of the Japanese horror hit Ringu, DreamWorks turned to commercial director Noam Murro. But after he departed over creative differences, they recruited Hideo Nakata, who knew the material: He directed Ringu and its Japanese sequel, which has nothing in common with this Ring Two. ''It was very...surreal,'' says Nakata of his third trip to Ringville.
Naomi Watts is back, as is David Dorfman as her son. Both are starting over after surviving a vengeful spirit named Samara who lives within a loop of deadly videotape. But when a new video surfaces and Watts tries to destroy it, Samara gets really, really, really angry. Adding to the production's development woes, the script went through a major rewrite. ''It was about making sure we understood how [my character] had changed,'' says Watts. ''The first film took its time and wasn't all about blood and guts. We wanted to honor that, as well.''
Look for the sequence where Watts has to claw out of Samara's skanky well. ''It was tough. I did have a temper tantrum one day,'' says the actress. ''Temper tantrum in a harness is not a good thing.''