Exclusive: Johnny Galecki has signed on to play one of the leads in Paramount’s Ringsthe third installment of the horror franchise about a cursed videotape that kills a viewer within seven days. Galecki will play Gabriel, a handsome, pleasure-seeking professor who mentors and helps boyfriend and girlfriend duo, Holt (Alex Roe) and Julia (Matilda Lutz). Sources tell Deadline that Galecki’s character is a complete departure from his sensitive nerd guy Leonard on CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Filming already is underway on Rings. Galecki is repped by WME and Management 360.

The first two Rings film chalked up $411M at the global B.O. The third chapter is directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez from a script by David Loucka, Jacob Aaron Estes, and Akiva Goldsman. Rings will bow on Friday, November 13. The first film in the series, 2002’s The Ring, was based on the Japanese film Ringu, which was adapted from the novel by Koji Suzuki. The Ring 2 came out in 2005.

Last month Galecki opened the doors to his Warner Bros.-based production label, Alcide Bava Productions, which will develop TV series and features films. It was also announced that former De Line Pictures President Andrew Haas has joined Galecki as his producing partner and VP of Alcide Bava. The label is producing writer-director Bobby Miller’s The Master Cleanse, which stars Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston and Oliver Platt.