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Make a copy, pass it on: The Ring Two and the Ghost of Verbinski

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As a Hollywood production helmed by Japanese director Hideo Nakata, The Ring Two upsets categories like remake and sequel. Running below the sinuous narrative and generic entanglements of adaptation, translation, and sequelization is a pattern of shifting authorship. By analyzing the discourse of authorship in industrial texts such as trade journals, newspaper articles, press kits, and DVD featurettes, this article argues that the logic of shifting authorship reflects Hollywood's flexible accumulation of international content and labor. The fetish of the original, discussed and reinterpreted continuously in each subsequent installment of the Ringu/Ring franchise, becomes the basis for self-mythologizing and justification for Hollywood's new international division of cultural labor. Under these circumstances, Nakata's auteur status serves as (multi)cultural capital, while his labor serves to ventriloquize Hollywood horror conventions and the style of director Gore Verbinski, whose presence continues to haunt the franchise as it is further passed along.

Keywords: J-horror; The Ring; authorship; global Hollywood; remakes; sequels

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of California.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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