Just weeks after Jason Clarke signed on to play Louis Creed in Paramount’s Pet Sematary, the cast is starting to fill out even more. John Lithgow has signed on to play Jud Crandall, the neighbor of Louis and his family in this upcoming remake. Production is scheduled to begin this summer, although there is no word on exactly when filming will begin, or exactly where production will take place. While there are still a number of major roles to be filled, the cast is coming together quite nicely.
Like the 1989 movie, this project will be adapted from the 1983 Stephen King novel of the same name, which celebrates its 35th Anniversary later this year. The story follows Louis Creed, his wife Rachel Creed and their kids Gage and Ellie, who move from Chicago to rural Ludlow, Maine, after Louis accepts a position as a doctor at the University of Maine. Louis befriends his neighbor Jud Crandall, who shows him the Pet Sematary in a secluded part of the woods behind the Creed’s new home. After the family cat winds up dead, Louis learns that, beyond the sematary, lies a Micmac burial ground that brings dead animals and people back to life.
The original movie starred Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, with Fred Gwynne playing Jud Crandal, Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed, Miko Hughes as Gage Creed and Blaze Berdahl as Ellie Creed. Stephen King also wrote the screenplay for the 1989 adaptation, which was directed by Mary Lambert, with Richard P. Rubenstein producing. The original movie earned $57.4 million in 1989, which, when adjusted for inflation, is the equivalent of a $132.5 million movie today.
Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the filmmaking team behind the indie horror-thriller Starry Eyes, have been set to direct, working from an adapted screenplay by Dave Kajganich (Suspiria remake), Matt Greenberg (Stephen King’s 1408) and Jeff Buhler (Midnight Meat Train). Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers) is producing alongside Mark Vahradian (Bumblebee) and Steven Schneider (Insidious). Paramount has issued an April 19, 2019 release date for Pet Sematary, one of five movies in wide release that weekend along with Playmobil, Pengins, Spies in Disguise and an untitled New Line Cinema horror film.
John Lithgow is coming off his Emmy-winning role as Winston Churchill in Netflix’s The Crown, which is rather ironic given the Creed family cat which comes back to life is in fact named Church. He also starred on the NBC comedy series Trial and Error, which returns for a second season later this year, and he also appeared in two comedy sequels on the big screen last year, Daddy’s Home 2 and Pitch Perfect 3. He is currently filming Late Night with writer-star Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Amy Ryan, Hugh Dancy and Megalyn Echikunwoke. Entertainment Weeklkyh broke the casting news regarding John Lithgow joining Pet Sematary earlier today. With filming starting this summer, we should have more casting updates in the near future.