Jackson White is reportedly in final negotiations to play a younger Jud Crandall in the Pet Sematary prequel in the works at Paramount Players. A follow-up to the 2019 remake by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, the new movie will be directed by Lindsey Beer, who wrote the latest script based on a draft by Jeff Buhler. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing.
There are no plot details on the new Pet Sematary movie at this time, though it will apparently be set decades before the events of the 2019 movie. In the reboot, John Lithgow co-starred as Jud Crandall, the elderly neighbor of the Creed family who tells the patriarch Louis (Jason Clarke) about the haunted burial ground that brings the dead back to life. This results in disastrous consequences for everyone after the grieving father buries his deceased child in the area.
Jackson White would be the third person to portray Jud Crandall in a movie based on Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. The character was originally portrayed by Fred Gwynne in the first movie adaptation that was released in 1989. Lithgow took over the role in the 2019 reboot where his version of Jud met a similar fate. Given the history of the character and his relation to the burial ground, it makes sense that he would be involved in a prequel detailing the history of the cursed cemetery.
A rising star, White is best known for his breakout role as Brendan Fletcher in the HBO limited series Mrs. Fletcher. He also appeared in a recurring role as Aidan in the sitcom The Middle. The actor will next be seen alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the upcoming action thriller Ambulance from director Michael Bay. Playing an established character like Jud could be a great opportunity for White as he continues to rise in Hollywood.
Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer directed 2019’s Pet Sematary reboot using a screenplay by Jeff Buhler. Inspired by both the Stephen King novel and Mary Lambert’s 1989 movie, the reboot followed the Creeds, a family met with great tragedy when a motor vehicle accident causes the loss of a child. Desperate to keep the family together, heartbroken father Louis turns to the cursed grounds of a local “pet sematary” to bring the deceased back to life. The problem is that anyone brought back is far from the same person that they were in life.
Reviews were rather mixed when it came to the new Pet Sematary, and it wasn’t quite the esteemed hit that the original adaptation is seen as by many horror fans. Even so, Paramount saw the potential in continuing the story, and screenwriter Jeff Buhler had revealed the studio’s plans to develop a prequel as far back as May 2019.
“So a lot of the ideas that we’ve been batting around currently, recently, have all been about, more about digging into the mythology of the town, these rituals that children present, the mythology of the Micmac, the Wendigo, the cemetery, the origins, Jud’s life. So it looks like, I don’t want to promise anything, because we don’t know, we’re not even down the road on an idea yet,” Buhler said at the time, via ComicBook.com.
In February, the Pet Sematary prequel was officially greenlit. The project will mark Lindsey Beer’s directorial debut and is intended to be released as a Paramount+ exclusive. A release date hasn’t yet been set for the platform. This news comes to us from Deadline.