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Thread: Paramount remaking Pet Sematary

  1. #151
    Gunslinger Apprentice georgiesarm is on a distinguished road

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    Default ‘Pet Sematary’ Producer Says New Film Isn’t A Remake

    https://www.ihorror.com/pet-sematary...isnt-a-remake/

    How similar is the upcoming Pet Sematary film to the 1989 film? While it’s been widely-reported that the new film is a remake of the 1989 film, the new film’s producer says that this is not the case.

    Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says that the new Pet Sematary film has much more in common with Stephen King’s 1983 novel than with the 1989 film. “We’re not remaking the first film,” says di Bonaventura. “This film represents a much deeper exploration of the book’s themes. Our storytelling approach differs greatly from that of the original film.”

    The new Pet Sematary film, according to di Bonaventura, is focused on the relationship between family and death. “We’re more insulated to death today than we were in the 1980s,” says di Bonaventura. “We hide from death, and when people in our lives get sick and are near death, we hide from them or send them away. How far are you willing to go, as a parent, to protect your family from death, to prevent it from happening, to fight it?”

    Comparing the two films, di Bonaventura says that the new Pet Sematary film is much more psychologically-based than its predecessor. “This film is about psychological terror,” says di Bonaventura. “The story is emotional and feels very real. We embraced the surreal aspect of Stephen King’s novel, which is something that’s been overlooked in previous King adaptations.”

    The filming of Pet Sematary was completed in June of 2018. The new film was directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, while the screenplay was written by Jeff Buhler. “When I mention the emotional aspect of the film, a lot of that comes from the three wonderful actors we have in this film,” says di Bonaventura, referring to Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz, who play husband and wife Louis and Rachel Creed, and John Lithgow, who plays Jud Crandall. “They brought so much drama and emotion to their characters and the film, and I know that audiences are going to be very impressed. The filming went very well.”

    The 1989 film version of Pet Sematary was a commercial success but a critical failure. “I look at the 1989 film somewhat critically,” says di Bonaventura. “The reaction to that film tends to depend on the age of the viewer. The younger generation tends to revere the original film, while the older generation looks at the film with skepticism, and I put myself in that category. We have a great script and phenomenal actors.”

    Speaking of the new film’s script, di Bonaventura says that he was shocked by the reaction he received in Hollywood when the script was sent out to talent agencies for casting. “The feedback we got was that this was a great script, and our reaction was, ‘Yes. We think it’s good,’” says di Bonaventura. “The agencies told us that most of the horror scripts they received were really bad.”

    Hinting at a possible sequel, di Bonaventura says that the new film doesn’t contain all of the events of King’s novel. “The entire book isn’t represented in the film,” says di Bonaventura. “I think it would have been a mistake to try and cover the entire book in one film. It’s the drama and themes of the book that were most important to us when we made the film.”

    The new Pet Sematary film is scheduled to open in theaters on April 5

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgiesarm View Post
    Hinting at a possible sequel, di Bonaventura says that the new film doesn’t contain all of the events of King’s novel. “The entire book isn’t represented in the film,” says di Bonaventura. “I think it would have been a mistake to try and cover the entire book in one film...”
    This is interesting; I wonder what he means by "the entire book isn't represented." Normally no book is fully represented in an adaptation, but that wouldn't suggest a sequel unless they actually stopped prior to the culmination of events. Still, I am intrigued.
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  3. #153
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    Oh for the love of...

    Pet Sematary is the LAST book that needs to be made into two films. This isn't 'It'. I just finished listening to the audiobook and it's a fairly slow book with most of the action occurring at the final third. This is just asking for a disaster.


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  4. #154
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    If it were a cable adaptation, sure, the story could be stretched over 4 hours or so, but as actual movies, I agree that it may not make the most sense.
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  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by St. Troy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by georgiesarm View Post
    Hinting at a possible sequel, di Bonaventura says that the new film doesn’t contain all of the events of King’s novel. “The entire book isn’t represented in the film,” says di Bonaventura. “I think it would have been a mistake to try and cover the entire book in one film...”
    This is interesting; I wonder what he means by "the entire book isn't represented." Normally no book is fully represented in an adaptation, but that wouldn't suggest a sequel unless they actually stopped prior to the culmination of events. Still, I am intrigued.
    I think he meant it exactly like you put it: no book is fully represented in an adaptation. The writer of the article misinterpreted it as hinting at a sequel.

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    Yeah looking at it again that's probably what he was trying to say.


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    Something bugs me into this. He says that the shooting was finished in june... but i thought that it finished in august, no?
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  8. #158
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    Ayuh, and they started filming on June 18. Looks like the writer of the article is a little sloppy

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    https://ew.com/movies/2018/10/04/fir...-pet-sematary/
    Curiosity lures the little girl down the old path behind her house — a feeling that only deepens along with the surrounding woods.

    She ends up in a clearing, staring at what looks like a scattering of junk and litter. There’s a sideways fishbowl. Moldy stuffed animals stare from the weeds. Boards, pipes, and beaten tin jut from the ground. Photographs and drawings that weep with dried rainwater are tacked to the occasional tree.

    Then she notices the debris is arrayed in concentric circles. These are markers. “Smucky the Cat,” one of them reads. “He was obedient.” At the entrance to the clearing stands a weatherworn piece of scrapwood with another misspelling: Pet Sematary.

    That’s the familiar title of this new film version of Stephen King’s 1983 novel, a tragic story of a young family, a lonely old man, and a cat with more than nine lives.

    Directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kölsch, best known for the 2014 Hollywood horror-satire Starry Eyes, this April 5 film is the latest in a resurgence of King adaptations to follow the monstrous success of last year’s It. Like that tale of Pennywise and the Losers, Pet Sematary is not just based on a best-selling novel but also has an earlier screen adaptation, from 1989, that still leaves a cold spot in the hearts of fans.

    “One of the things about doing a new version now is our understanding of life and death has progressed,” says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “But are we more sophisticated about it or less?”

    Parents today, he notes, are definitely more fearful and protective than they were in the ’80s. “One of the most interesting themes in the book, the original movie, and this one is, ‘How far would you go to see someone again?’” he says. “But another thing we’re exploring is how you can’t run” from the things that scare you.

    You can only face them, live with them — or be destroyed by them.

    This scene being shot in the woods of Ontario, Canada, is how Ellie Creed (played by 11-year-old Jeté Laurence) discovers the pet graveyard that other children in the town of Ludlow, Maine, have maintained for generations. But her attention is quickly drawn to the jagged barricade of fallen trees that wall off the rest of the forest.

    She doesn’t know it, but there’s another, more sinister burial ground further beyond it.

    Ellie is just beginning to climb the deadfall when she feels a sharp pain in her leg and hears a roaring, gravelly voice — “Hey! You get down from there now!” — before losing her footing and plunging to the ground with a cry.

    An old man in dirty jeans and a flannel shirt rushes to her aid. His white beard is stained with nicotine, making his mouth a little yellow circle of worry. His name is Jud Crandall (played in the original by Fred Gwynne and now by John Lithgow).

    Jud, as King readers remember, is a lighthouse keeper, of sorts. He is one of the last living people who knows what lies beyond the deadfall — and how things buried there don’t lie still for very long.

    “He is a good man, but he is a good man with troubles in his life,” Lithgow tells EW during our set visit this summer. “And he’s grown up with some real demons.”

    Jud helps Ellie to her feet, then investigates the sharp pain in her leg. He plucks a bee stinger from her calf with his big, grimy hands. “That’s a big ’un,” he says. “No prize winner, but good enough for a ribbon.”

    More alarming to the little girl are the macabre graves surrounding them. “What is this place?” she asks.

    Jud tries to comfort her, but his emotions are a little clumsier than his hands. He glances back to the entrance. “Uhh, didn’t you see the sign?”

    That’s a moment of lightheartedness in a story that otherwise descends steeply into despair.

    This novel about an ancient burial ground that can resurrect the dead — with malevolent consequences — is the one King himself famously had reservations about sharing with readers. “I found the result so startling and gruesome that I put the book in a drawer, thinking it would never be published. Not in my lifetime, anyway.” King wrote in a 2000 introduction for the paperback. His wife, Tabitha, and editor convinced him otherwise, but the uncertainty has lingered, even though the book is sacred to many of King’s readers.

    “I’m particularly uneasy about the book’s most resonant line… ‘Sometimes, dead is better,’” King wrote. “I hope with all my heart that that is not true, but in the nightmarish context of Pet Sematary, it seems to be. And it may be okay. Perhaps ‘sometimes dead is better’ is grief’s last lesson.”

    It’s a lesson that Ellie’s father, Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) doesn’t care to learn. As a physician, defying death is his trade. And when he learns of a burial ground that can reverse things even after it’s too late, he becomes intoxicated by it.

    “That’s what makes it more than a horror movie,” says Clarke. “I was like, ‘Where’s the horror? I’m disturbed.’ That was it for me, I found it insanely disturbing. [King] reaches inside you in some way, he always does. There is great intellect and great subconscious and subtext and thought and reason behind it.”

    Widmyer describes Louis as “a guy who thinks he has death figured out. ‘I see death every day, I work in an ER. Don’t tell me about death, I understand death.’ But he doesn’t understand death when it’s dropped onto his lap. He’ll do whatever he can to undo it. It’s sort of like the science world meets the supernatural world.”

    Grief is the element that makes King’s story so terrifying. It’s not just an eerie, supernatural story, but a terribly sad one. Ellie shows us that through a child’s eyes, worrying about the well-being of her own cat.

    “This book is about death and talking about death and grief, and the pet cemetery is the first stage of that,” says Widmyer. “It’s almost like by not communicating about death, the chain reaction of the entire movie happens.”

    “Having a pet die is a way that a lot of kids learn about death, and how to deal with death for the first time,” adds Kölsch. “It kind of helps you accept death as a natural part of life.”

    Pet Sematary examines what happens when a person refuses to accept that, choosing not to say goodbye, but clinging instead to the agony of the loss until the survivor’s life essentially ends, too.

    Kölsch and Widmyer compare the rejuvenating burial ground to a gambling addiction for some of the characters. “Whenever you’re down, it’s kind of like, ‘If I go one more time I can just break even!’” Kölsch says. “That happens a lot in Pet Sematary. Instead of just accepting the loss, they’re always trying to double down — and it just keeps costing more life.”

    No one imagines the loss that awaits this family, which includes mom Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and toddler brother Gage (played by twins Hugo and Lucas Lavoie), who has a habit of wandering too close to the busy country road outside their new home.

    The sweetness of the Creeds is one thing that makes King’s story so unsettling.

    “To understand why loss is so tragic, you have to understand why life is so beautiful,” Seimetz tells EW.

    After discovering this ramshackle burial ground behind her family’s red-paneled colonial home, all Ellie can foresee is a day when she has to say goodbye to her own pet, Winston Churchill — or “Church” for short.

    Jud tries to show her that the Pet Sematary is not a sad or angry place. It’s a place to remember happy memories. “I carved this myself,” he says, guiding her to the marker for his dog, “Biffer — A Helluva Sniffer,” written on two boards near the center of the circles.

    “He could talk, you know,” Jud tells her. She wrinkles her face in doubt, and the old man leans his head back and howls, “Rooo Rooo ROOOOOW!” Suddenly, she’s smiling. For the first time.

    It’s not much of a spoiler to say that the day of Church’s demise comes sooner than she thinks, and Jud’s affection for her and her family is what motivates him to show Louis the Mi’kmaq burial ground beyond the deadfall, where things that are gone can sometimes come back.

    Below is an image of the resurrected Church, stinking of the grave, making Grumpy Cat look upbeat, and more closely resembling the hissing Maine coon originally depicted on King’s novel cover than the gray British shorthair who prowled the ’89 film.

    “He really cares about this little girl,” Lithgow says. “That’s what this scene is about, the beginning of a connection. He can delight a child, and it’s a very interesting color to this dark man.… It gives a very genuine and human motivation to everything that happens in this genre horror film. And when that happens, when you really care about these people and you really believe in what motivates them, then the stakes go way, way up.”

    While Gwynne’s Jud was a folksy old-timer, Lithgow’s is more isolated, unwanted, and unloved, yearning to find a place to belong again. In King’s novel, Dr. Creed comes to see his elderly neighbor as the father figure he never had. In this film, Jud is the damaged one healed by the embrace of a new family.

    “He’s a loner, and he’s chosen to be alone,” Lithgow says. “His life changed. He was a man whose entire life was wrapped up with his marriage, his wife. And they didn’t have children, but they wanted children. In the script there’s this very simple and sweet line, ‘It didn’t work out for Norma and me. We wanted to keep ourselves to ourselves.’ You just know that was a really, really deep relationship. And the loss of that relationship has defined his life ever since.”

    This is when Rachel, the frantic mom searching for her wandering daughter, turns up in the forest scene. She’s dismayed to discover not just this makeshift boneyard, but her daughter standing there with a grubby-looking stranger.

    This is a departure from King’s book, which opens with Jud crossing the road to meet his big-city neighbors within minutes of their arrival at their new country home. In the novel, he also later leads the whole family on a hike to the Pet Sematary, where things turn sour with the mom — unexpectedly and quickly.

    The arrangement is slightly different, but the result is the same. Her husband may form a familial bond with this man, but she is mistrustful from the start. The little graveyard has a lot to do with that.

    “Rachel went through something extremely traumatic when she was younger with her sister, and she freezes up when death is talked about,” Seimetz says. “She doesn’t want to face it and doesn’t want her daughter to go through the same thing.

    “Rachel wants her kid to have a childhood and not have to think about death like she did,” Seimetz adds. “It’s a hard topic for her to discuss. Not just because she wants to protect her kid, but also because she’s protecting some part of herself as well.”

    Fans of the book and earlier movie will remember this sister well: Zelda, the twisted, agonized figure whose emaciated body was corkscrewed with spinal meningitis. The flashback to her grim, short life scarred readers and moviegoers almost as much as it did Rachel.

    The filmmakers aren’t ready to reveal Zelda yet, but they give EW a hint of what’s to come. “It’s more accurate to the book, I’ll just say that,” Widmyer reveals. “In the original movie, it’s a 21-year-old guy in drag playing it, and in the book, as you recall, it’s a 10-year-old girl.”

    Neither filmmaker is trying to demean the original movie. Zelda, as played by Andrew Hubatsek in director Mary Lambert’s earlier film, was one of the most chilling and memorable parts of that adaptation.

    “You go, ‘How do you top Zelda?’” Widmyer says. “It was big and scary and awesome, but if you think about the reality of the Zelda situation, what that would do to a family, with her wasting away in this bedroom, and a younger sister being frightened of her older sister’s debilitating illness, that on its own is pretty scary.”

    They are hoping “the grounded nature of that horror would actually be scarier than a supernatural version of it,” he adds. “The nurse, the medical equipment, what that room would feel like as a layer of dust went on everything.” He says their film will show “how that would seem from the perspective of an 8-year-old, going into that room to bring food to her, and how scary that would be.”

    The filmmakers, pictured above in the living room set of Jud’s house, say Pet Sematary will also introduce a new take on Victor Pascow (played by Obssa Ahmed), a college kid struck by a car who dies in Dr. Creed’s care in the emergency room. Since the doctor tried valiantly to save him, the spirit of Pascow appears repeatedly to be a kind of supernatural conscience.

    “We have this very normal student, but the voice that’s speaking through him is an ancient voice trying to warn him,” WIdmyer says.

    The voice that ultimately pulls the doctor toward the resurrection ground is Jud himself, who thinks he will be helping the family alleviate their pain after the untimely death of their cat. He has no idea he will end up creating more anguish.

    When Rachel leads her daughter away from the cemetery in a huff, Ellie cheerfully tells her mother, “He pulled the bee stinger out. It was a big ‘un!”

    Her mom barely looks back as they hurry away. They leave Jud in the Pet Sematary. Alone again. But their mutual paths have already been set.

    Once they’re gone, the old man looks back to the deadfall, as if he hears a voice calling to him.

    He’s thinking about second chances. And the kind that shouldn’t be.



  10. #160
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    This looks like it's going to be well done.
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  11. #161
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    I'm sure Clarke will do fine but listening to the audiobook made me think Michael C. Hall would have killed it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    I'm sure Clarke will do fine but listening to the audiobook made me think Michael C. Hall would have killed it.
    I'm sure he would have. I still need to pick this audiobook up.
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  13. #163
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    It wont be long now before the trailer arrives
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  14. #164
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    IMDB has this as the poster. Looks official:


  15. #165
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    And the trailer will be available VERY VERY SOON now
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  16. #166
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    Well, the poster is official, and I like how they're using the title font from the hardcover.

  17. #167
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  18. #168
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  19. #169
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    Meh...
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  20. #170
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    I got bored halfway through, how is that possible?

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeC View Post
    I got bored halfway through, how is that possible?
    Me too. When I seen IT's first trailer last year... GOOSEBUMPS. This? Eye rolls.
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  22. #172
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    I liked it, I thought it built the atmosphere well.
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  23. #173
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    Poster and trailer both were a bit uninspiring for me, but no matter as I’m already all in for this. Agree with St Troy that I was definitely feeling the “woods in Maine” vibe...but felt little else.

  24. #174
    Gunslinger Apprentice Earl of Popkin has a spectacular aura about Earl of Popkin has a spectacular aura about Earl of Popkin has a spectacular aura about Earl of Popkin's Avatar

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  25. #175
    Maerlyn's Imp Iwritecode is a glorious beacon of light Iwritecode is a glorious beacon of light Iwritecode is a glorious beacon of light Iwritecode is a glorious beacon of light Iwritecode is a glorious beacon of light Iwritecode's Avatar

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    I'm actually finding myself looking forward to this movie. The book and original movie were always sort of middle of the road for me. I don't love them, but I don't hate them either. I've always thought that the movie was one of the better adaptations of his books, compared to some of the other clunkers that exist.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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