Stephen King Is Totally Fine With The Pet Sematary Remake’s Big Change

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Director Kevin Kölsch may be resurrecting an old property with the upcoming Pet Sematary remake, but as the tagline goes, “they don’t come back the same.” Sure enough, as the trailer released earlier this month made all too clear, the second big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel will be taking a few liberties.

To elaborate, in both the original source material and the 1989 film of the same name, the young Gage Creed is killed in a truck accident, before ultimately being brought back in the story’s titular graveyard. In Kölsch’s version, however, Ellie is the one to suffer an early death.

Seeing how King still doesn’t have a whole lot nice to say about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and its diversions from the source material, there was no guarantee that the author would approve of the new Pet Sematary. But in an interview with Flickering Myth, Jason Clarke claimed that King was fine with the fresh take:

“It’s pretty easy to justify [the change]. You can’t play that movie with a three-year-old boy. You end up with a doll or some animated thing. So you’re going to get a much deeper, richer story by swapping for a seven-year-old or nine-year-old girl. The reward will come. People who are upset will hopefully see the benefit of it. But a lot of people didn’t have an issue. Stephen King didn’t have an issue with it.”

Though the team behind the 1989 version evidently regarded killing off and resurrecting Gage as a viable option, it also makes sense to giving this meatier arc to the slightly older of the two Creed siblings, who’ll be played by Jeté Laurence from the Amazon series Sneaky Pete.

Clarke went on to say that he isn’t going to let the potential reactions from fans affect his performance, arguing that it’s an actor’s job to simply respond to the material they’ve been given:

“As an actor, ultimately, you don’t care. It’s like saying ‘how do you approach playing a real person?’. You have to serve what’s on the page and what the director wants and what happens on the day. You don’t have any choice.”

This sounds like a reasonable enough approach, but the fans will no doubt have plenty of opinions to share once the new Pet Sematary hits theaters on April 5th, 2019

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