Now this is just a great piece of casting. With Paramount’s fresh adaptation of Pet Sematary moving swiftly into development, the film has found its grizzled old timer Jud Crandall, in the shape of John Lithgow (pictured right).
Writing/directing duo Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch – who made one of this century’s finest horror films, 2014’s Starry Eyes – have been tasked with bringing Stephen King’s novel to the screen for the second time, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian and Steven Schneider producing.
Described by King as “the most frightening book I’ve ever written,” his 1983 novel tells the tale of Louis and Rachel Creed, who discover the re-animating properties of an Indian burial ground behind their new house. Louis decides to bring back their daughter Ellie’s cat after it is killed on the road, but when a horrible tragedy strikes the family, they find out that “sometimes, dead is better.”
The book was previously put on the screen in 1989 by director Mary Lambert but, while not devoid of gut-punch nastiness and strong imagery, the film didn’t quite capture the raw emotional horror of King’s novel. As Jud, Fred Gwynne provided the film’s most memorable character (“You don’t wanna go down that road”), so it’ll be good to see how Lithgow compares. One has to think he’ll be pretty great.
Words: Kevan Farrow (@KevanX)