Another new Stephen King adaptation is heating up with Pet Sematary, which recently began casting.
First came word that Jason Clarke had been cast in the role of Louis Creed, the father character played in the 1989 movie by Dale Midkiff. Then came word that the great John Lithgow will be playing Jud Crandall, who was played by the late great Fred Gwynne in the previous adaptation.
Now one of the writers of this new take on Pet Sematary, Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train), has shared some thoughts on the project. You can see what he had to say about it below.
This new adaptation of King’s story is set to be directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, who are best known for the 2014 indie horror Starry Eyes.
Buhler talked about working with the directors, who replaced the previously attached Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), and their aim for the remake:
“When we first started our conversations, Dennis and Kevin and I really connected around the idea of bringing the story back to the source material, to find a modern telling of the book that really spoke to some of the big scenes and big moments that Stephen King had originally written. And as much as all of us are huge fans of the original film, there are moments that are larger than life and feel borderline campy. Our desire was to tell a really grounded, character driven and psychologically horrific version of Pet Sematary, which in my belief, is the scariest book that King ever wrote.”
Buhler then talked about what King’s book means to him personally:
“It fucked me when I read it in high school. And I always remember hearing that it was the one book King chucked in the garbage, because it was too scary and dark, and it was his wife and his friend Peter Straub who were like, “˜You have to publish this.’ Now, as a father of a five year old and a nine year old, I really connected to this story of grief and loss and what it could do to a family in a different way, in that, how far would a parent go to return to their life prior to a tragic event? All of that feels so poignant and universal. It’s our desire to really reconnect to those elements of the story and bring them into a world that speaks to the modern horror audience.”
Finally, he talked about what fans of the book and first movie can expect to see in this new version:
“There may be Victor, there may be some Zelda, and there will definitely be some Louis and Rachel and Gage and Ellie. I will say this, if you love the book, you’ll love this movie. Dennis and Kevin 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.”
I love Stephen King, both his books and the movies that have been made based on them. None of them have come anywhere close to messing me up like Pet Sematary did. So saying their goal is to make one of the scariest King adaptations ever is certainly bold considering how extremely difficult it will be for them to make even the scariest Pet Sematary adaptation.
But that ambition also makes me even more excited to see what they do with it. I just hope, for all our sakes, they avoid CGI as much as humanly possible.
Buhler also talked about another new take on a familiar horror title he worked on the screenplay for, The Grudge. You can see what he had to say about that and more over at Dread Central if interested. On top of all of that he’s the creator and showrunner of the upcoming SYFY series Nightflyers as well, which is based on a novella written by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.