Jason Clarke in Talks to Lead Paramount’s Pet Sematary Reboot

Adapting Stephen King isn’t always easy, but when done right, the results can be magnificent. That was certainly the case for Andy Muschietti’s It, which was one of 2017’s most pleasant (in a terrifying way) surprises. The film was both a critical and commercial smash, no easy feat considering It was one of the legendary novelist’s more difficult tomes to crack. Yet Muschietti and his team took the book’s first half—when the Losers’ Club are kids and first face off against Pennywise the Clown—and turned it into cinematic gold. It: Chapter Two is already being cast, with some huge names vying for a role in the sequel.  This is a fairly long windup for what we hope will be another stellar King remake, Pet Sematary, which seems to be gaining some momentum. The Hollywood Reporter has it that Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) is in talks to play Louis Creed, the doctor who, with his family, moves to a rural home that sits adjacent to a ‘Pet Sematary’ with some seriously sinister powers. So much for getting a little fresh air and relaxation.

Mary Lambert’s original Pet Sematary (1989) was a classic, with Fred Gwynne’s turn as the drawling Jud Crandall one for the ages. The film managed to imbue King’s creepy novel with the kind of dusty, lived-in gothic horror that his rural freakout deserved. Pet Sematary had indelible images, from the dead cat no longer dead, to poor Jud Crandall’s achilles heels, that still resonate all these years later. For children who came of age in the 1980s’, Lambert’s film was a terrifying coda to what had been a decade of lightly scary, overwhelmingly positive portrayals of kids messing around with adventure, from Goonies to Back to the Future. What befalls the Creed family in Pet Sematary, especially the son, Gage (even the name brings back chills) was anything but positive.

The reboot will be directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes), and nabbing a lead of Clarke’s caliber would be a good start.

Here’s a deeper synopsis for Pet Sematary:

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic and rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow’s tranquility, there’s an undercurrent of danger that exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift pet cemetery out back in the nearby woods. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself…

Featured image: Jason Clarke in WINCHESTER to be released by CBS Films and Lionsgate. Photo by Ben King.


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