Australian actor Jason Clarke has defended one of the major changes to the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s famed horror tale “Pet Sematary” at Paramount Pictures. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
In both the original book and film, the story follows a doctor who moves his wife and two kids out of the big city to the country. He discovers that they have moved near a pet cemetery that resides next to an ancient American-Indian burial ground.
When their toddler son is killed in an auto accident, the father takes the boy’s body to the burial ground, where it is resurrected but is not quite right. The full trailer for the new film released last month gives away that those involved have switched the victim – now it’s no longer the toddler son but the pre-teen daughter who is resurrected.
Clarke, who plays the father, spoke with Flickering Myth this week about his new film “The Aftermath” and was asked about the change to ‘Pet’ and why it was done:
“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.
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.”
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura previously defended the change and admits both he and directors Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch were nervous about it but couldn’t ‘do much’ with a three-year-old zombie character.
Amy Seimetz and John Lithgow co-star in the film which opens on April 4th.