‘It’ Director Wants to Make Own Version of Stephen King’s ‘Pet Sematary’

Pet Sematary

Quite rightly, directors are wary about being pigeonholed. This is especially true for those who first become known for making horror movies. It’s far too easy to become trapped in the genre, so that filmmakers who want to make a variety of movies often find it difficult to make, for example, a romantic comedy or a family drama.

Director Andrés Muschietti and his producing partner, Barbara Muschietti, have no such fears, however. They collaborated on well-regarded horror thriller Mama as well as Stephen King’s It, which is generating a lot of positive advance buzz ahead of its theatrical release next month.

What will the producer and director tackle next? Last month, we heard that the creative team will develop a live-action version of Japanese animated series Robotech and Andrés Muschietti will then direct it. We also heard that Muschietti will direct the pilot episode for Hulu’s adaptation of Locke and Key, based on a wonderfully spooky comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

Now comes word that the Muschiettis would be happy to dive back into Stephen King territory. Barbara Muschietti told Toronto Sun: “We’re huge fans of Pet Sematary. If we can get our hands on that and do the Pet Sematary we want to do, that will be something. One day, maybe.”

The recently-published interview was conducted last summer, so it may not represent the team’s current thinking. Nonetheless, we’d love to see what they have in mind. Here’s why.

The Muschiettis are quickly developing a reputation for atmospheric movies that feature strong characters. That was true in Mama, which revolved around a terrific performance by Jessica Chastain. We’re also hearing that It features good performances by its young cast.

First published in 1983, Pet Sematary revolves around a secret portion of a pet cemetery (misspelled “Sematary” on a sign) where buried animals come back to life, but as very nasty versions of themselves. Stephen King wrote the screenplay for a 1989 film adaptation, directed by Mary Lambert. The movie hit the mark for most horror fans and proved to be a box office success, too, inspiring a sequel.

A remake has been under consideration since 2011, at least. Alexandre Aja (Piranha) and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) have been touted to direct in the past. Right now, Pet Sematary sounds like a dream project for the Muschiettis — and they still have a likely sequel to It and Robotech to complete first — so we’ll file this one away as a project to be considered later.

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