Kadokawa Shoten, a leading Japanese publisher with extensive media interests, has reached a agreement with Pandemonium, former Fox president Bill Mechanic's production company, to remake Dark Water, the latest film by horror-meister Hideo Nakata, who was responsible for the hit Ring series.

The rights fee is reported to be $400,000, though Kadokawa has not yet announced an amount. Also, Disney is negotiating with Kadokawa for worldwide distribution rights for Dark Water, with a North American release next year on 2000 screens anticipated.

The film stars Hitomi Kuroki as a woman with a troubled past who leaves her husband and begins a new life with her five-year-old daughter, only to find that their new apartment building has a past -- and a mind -- of its own. Based on a best-selling short story collection by Koji Suzuki, who also wrote the novels that inspired the Ring series, Dark Water opened in Japan on November 19 on 213 screens. Excluding multiplex screens, the film recorded 82,897 admissions and a gross of $886,364 (Y117 million), beating distributor Toho's initial projections.

Dreamworks is currently producing a remake of Ring, starring Naomi Watts, for summer release. Also, Dark Water is scheduled to screen in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival.