Much like its many victims, it seems like we can expect Pet Sematary to keep coming back. Paramount rebooted Mary Lambert‘s original film in 2019 and now they’re headed back to that particular bit of sour ground beyond the deadfall for another attempt at Stephen King‘s world. This time they’re doing a prequel story which will debut on the Paramount+ streaming service, and the Pet Sematary prequel cast that was recently announced may hint at what the story will entail.
The Hollywood Reporter has announced the Pet Sematary prequel cast will include Jack Mulhern (Mare of Easttown) Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky) and newcomer Isabella Star LaBlanc. Two of those stars are indigenous actors, which makes us think the Paramount+ series will lean into a certain aspect of the Pet Sematary mythology.
King’s original novel is one of his darkest and, notoriously, the only one of his books he almost didn’t publish because he thought it went too far. If you’ve never had a chance to read the book or see any of the cinematic adaptations of it, the story is basically about how we deal with death. It’s about grief and loss and examines just how far an average family man would go to get a second chance at preserving his family.
Central to this story is a patch of earth in rural Maine, located deep in the woods beyond the titular Pet Sematary, where if you bury a dead thing there they won’t stay dead for too long. Problem is whatever comes back, be it pet or human, doesn’t come back the same.
Both the 1989 movie and the 2019 remake follow the book pretty closely when it comes to this stoney ground, the latter leaning a little more into the Native American history behind this plot of land. In that film we glimpse a monster patrolling the area, which is undoubtedly a Wendigo, which is more prominent in the book.
Since Maine is overflowing with white people, the fact that this first casting announcement has a couple indigenous actors taking prominent roles may point to a deeper dive into the legend of the “Indian burial ground” side of this story. That sounds good to us, because if this prequel is going to work it has to do something different. We don’t want to see another dad bury another kid and act surprised when they come back evil. Exploring the mythology is the reason to do this and it sounds like that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Linsdey Beer is pulling the strings on this one, directing from a script she wrote after a previous draft by Jeff Buhler. The production begins in earnest next month.
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