Paramount Players Follow-up to Stephen King’s 2019 Adaptation Pet Sematario has cast Jackson White as a younger version of Jud Crandall. First published in 1983, King’s novel focuses on physician Louis Creed and his family who move to a small town in Maine and learn of a pet cemetery near their new home with the ability to return to the life anything buried there. After the sudden loss of his son, Louis buries him in the cemetery, but quickly faces the consequences of his actions trying to play God.
The novel was first adapted to the big screen in 1989 with King writing the script himself and Mary Lambert directing and was a box office success, though it divided critics and became a cult favorite over the years. . Paramount would test the material again in 2019 with the effort led by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, which had slightly better but still mixed reviews and a larger box office return. Thanks to this financial success, the studio announced the development of a Paramount + follow-up earlier this year, and the ball continues to roll on the project.
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More than four months since it was first announced, Lindsey Beer had signed up to direct the film and write a draft based on 2019 scribe Jeff Buhler. Term has brought the news that White has signed up to star in the movie. The Mrs. Fletcher Alum is currently set to star in the film as Jud Crandall, confirming that the project is something of a prequel to the recent adaptation of King’s novel and the novel itself. That said, the studio still keeps plot details close to the film’s chest.
Although generally considered one of King’s most iconic novels, and the most terrifying by the author himself, the narrators seem to struggle to translate. Pet Sematario to the screen in a way that is just as terrifying as its source material. While John Lithgow’s portrayal of Jud in the 2019 iteration may not have had Fred Gwynne’s exaggerated pronunciation in the first film, his portrayal felt more in touch with the source material. Whichever version viewers prefer, it’s hard to deny that the character proved to be one of the best things about both adaptations, if one of the least explored.
Since neither White nor Beer have much on their resumes, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Pet Sematario prequel project. With Buhler and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura having previously discussed their interest in exploring the mythology of the Maine city, the Micmac, the cemetery, and the Wendigo, their expansion on King’s work could prove fascinating or disappointing. Only time will tell as development of the film continues.
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