Stephen King’s Pet Sematary is getting a reboot in 2019, following the huge success of the film adaptation of his horror novel, It.
The legendary author’s 1983 book Pet Sematary was first brought to our screens in a 1989 big-screen adaptation directed by Mary Lambert.
Paramount announced they were moving forward with the remake back in October 2017.
The Pet Sematary reboot will be directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, and is the latest in a long line of film adaptations of King’s books.
As well as It, several of his other works have achieved success on the big screen from The Shining (1980), Misery (1990), and The Boogeyman (2010) to Carrie (2013).
— Social In Atlanta (@SocialInAtlanta) February 5, 2018
There are also other adaptations of King’s novels in the works, including It: Chapter 2, In the Tall Grass, Doctor Sleep, The Long Walk and The Tommyknockers.
The boom in Stephen King film adaptations explains the big names involved in ongoing projects. It: Chapter 2 has attracted Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, while the cast for the Pet Sematary reboot includes Jason Clarke, John Lithgow and Amy Seimetz.
— BestHorrorMoviesList (@HorrorMoviesApp) May 28, 2018
Here is a round-up of everything we know about the film so far.
Pet Sematary trailer
The highly anticipated first trailer for the 2019 Pet Sematary reboot was released on October 11, 2018, with the tagline “Sometimes dead is better”.
It showed several scenes from the upcoming movie, including of the family moving into their new home and the chilling developments that unfold.
Watch it below!
Pet Sematary release date
Pet Sematary is currently set to be released in the U.S. on April 5, 2019.
Paramount had originally set the release date for April 19, 2019, but later announced that it was being moved forward to April 5, 2019, although this could still be subject to change.
Paramount Bringing ‘Pet Sematary’ Remake to Life in 2019 https://t.co/8oIh59Gz1T
— Variety (@Variety) December 8, 2017
Pet Sematary details and filming location
Pet Sematary 2019 is directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, who were also behind the highly acclaimed 2014 indie horror film Starry Eyes. They are also currently involved in two other film projects, Mama 2 and The Bringing.
Jeff Buhler, David Kajganich, and Matt Greenberg wrote the film script. Buhler’s previous works include George R.R. Martin’s Syfy series Nightflyers (2018- ), and 2008 adaptation of Clive Barker’s The Midnight Meat Train.
He also co-wrote the upcoming reboot of Jacob’s Ladder (2019), directed by David Rosenthal, and the upcoming 2019 reboot of The Grudge, directed by Nicolas Pesce.
Kajganich’s previous works include Suspiria (2018), directed by Luca Guadagnino.
Pet Sematary 2019 is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian and Steven Schneider. Di Bonaventura’s previous credits include the Transformers movies and the 2007 film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1408.
Vahradian also worked on the Transformers films, while Schneider produced the Insidious series. The cinematography is by Laurie Rose.
Filming began on June 18, 2018, in Montreal, Canada, with Widmyer and Kolsch posting a photo on Twitter of themselves on set with the caption “Day one”.
The same month, Paramount also announced new cast members for the film and released the official synopsis.
The extent to which Buhler, Widmyer, and Kolsch, will stick to King’s original novel as their source material remains to be seen. However, a successful King adaptation that strays significantly from the source material is not unprecedented.
The 1989 adaptation of Pet Sematary was fairly successful, raking in $57.5 million at the box office, against a budget of about $11.5 million. But the storyline omitted several plotlines from the original King novel which fans are hoping will be included in the reboot.
Andy Muschetti’s It also received positive reviews and King endorsed it, although it significantly deviated from his book. It had a production budget of $35 million and made more than $700 million at the box office.
However, Buhler has indicated in interviews that they plan to stick with the source material as far as possible, and hope to make their reboot the “scariest Stephen King adaptation ever”.
“I will say this, if you love the book, you’ll love this movie,” Buhler said. “Dennis (Widmyer) and Kevin (Kolsch) are both such visionaries in terms of how they’ve approached it, from not only a horror standpoint but also a character standpoint, and it’s been really gratifying to work with those guys.
“I think we’re on track to it make one of the scariest Stephen King adaptations ever! That’s our goal anyway.”
Pet Sematary cast
The film stars Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow.
Jason Clarke in Talks to Play Lead Character in ‘Pet Sematary’ Re-Adaptation https://t.co/LrdOM40ZIE
— Bloody Disgusting 🎃 (@BDisgusting) April 16, 2018
Jason Clarke, who appeared in Winchester (2018) as Dr. Eric Price, and in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) as Malcolm, plays the role of Dr. Louis Creed.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) April 16, 2018
Amy Seimetz, who played Becky Ives in Stranger Things (2016- ), starred as Kris in Upstream Color (2013), as Faris in Alien: Covenant (2017), and Sarah in A Horrible Way to Die (2010), portrays Louis creed’s wife, Rachel.
Seimetz was also co-director and executive producer of the Starz series The Girlfriend Experience (2016- ).
— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) June 4, 2018
Ten-year-old Jete Laurence plays Ellie Creed. Laurence is an established actress in her own right, despite being so young.
She appeared as Josephine alongside Michael Fassbender in The Snowman (2017), as a little girl in Marvel’s Jessica Jones (2015- ), as Ellen in Sneaky Pete (2015- ), Pearl in Friends From College (2017- ), Young Paige in The Americans (2013-2018), and Young Chelsea in Jenn Wexler’s horror film The Ranger (2018).
Jeté Laurence will play Ellie Creed & 3 year old twins Hugo Lavoie & Lucas Lavoie will play Gage Creed in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. #TheHorrorReturnsPodcast #Horror #PetSematary #StephenKing pic.twitter.com/Z8PfUOSPww
Jete’s character, Ellie, owns a cat named Winston Churchill (Church) as many will recall from both the novel and original movie.
Ellie’s little brother, Gage, is played by the three-year-old twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie. Pet Sematary is the young twins’ film debut. Their parents revealed that they decided to present their twins for an audition after they saw a casting notice on Facebook.
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) June 21, 2018
The twins’ character, Gage, suffers a terrible tragedy in the movie.
Ellie, a “sweet and sensitive” little girl, befriends the elderly next-door neighbor, Jud Crandall, played by John Lithgow.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 5, 2018
Lithgow is best known for his appearance in The World According to Garp (1982) and Terms of Endearment (1983). He is also known for his role as Dick Solomon in the sitcom 3rd Rock from The Sun (1996-2001), and as Sir Winston Churchill in The Crown (2016).
He also had roles in Shrek (2001), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Interstellar (2014).
Meanwhile, the iconic and horrifying role of Rachel’s sister Zelda, who suffers from spinal meningitis, will be played by young actress Alyssa Brooke Levine. The character was played by male actor Andrew Hubatskek in the original 1989 movie.
Pet Sematary plot
The Pet Sematary 2019 reboot is based on the 1983 horror novel by Stephen King. It tells the story of a couple, Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) and Rachel Creed (Amy Seimetz) who move with their two young children, Ellie (Jete Laurence) and Gage (Hugo and Lucas Lavoie twins), from Boston to the rural town of Ludlow, Maine, after Louis, a doctor, takes a job at the University of Maine.
They discover that there is a cursed ancient Native American burial ground in the woods next to their house. Their elderly neighbor, Jud Crandall, played by John Lithgow, tells Louis that animals buried in the ancient ground have been known to come back to life.
Ellie’s cat, Winston Churchill, dies and Jud takes Louis to the ancient burial ground where they bury the cat. The cat returns to life but is transformed in appearance and character.
— Nightmare On Film St (@NOFSpodcast) December 23, 2017
Later, Gage dies after being run over by a truck in front of the family’s house. The tragic incident drives Louis nearly to madness. He secretly buries his son in the cursed burial ground.
Gage comes back to life, but the resurrected version of the toddler is a homicidal zombie who arms himself with a scalpel and murders Jud and his mother, Rachel.
The zombie Gage also tries to kill Louis, but the doctor kills him by injecting morphine.
The story ends with an unexpected twist when Louis, having lost his mind as a result of the traumatic experience, decides to also bury his dead wife in the ancient ground. He reasons that the real Rachel, instead of a homicidal zombie, would resurrect this time because her corpse is still fresh.
Louis is very wrong and this time, the mistake will cost him everything — when Rachel resurrects and returns to Louis and apparently murders him too.