Nakata was scheduled to make his English-language debut with True Believers, but later pulled out. He was later offered by DreamWorks to direct the movie The Ring Two (2005), which he accepted, making his English-language debut with a sequel to a remake of his own film.
Nakata made his initial breakthrough into film with Ghost Actress (1996). Although failing to attain any large-scale success, the film was responsible for leading to his directing of Ring.
Other Nakata films include Sleeping Bride (2000); Curse, Death and Spirit; and Chaos (2000). He directed the psychological thriller The Incite Mill which premiered on 16 October 2010 in Japan. He has now completed a Japanese ghost story, Kaidan. Nakata is currently working on Hearn, which is about the life of Lafcadio Hearn who wrote Kwaidan.