The Pet Sematary Prequel Just Took A Massive Step Forward, And May Not Be A Prequel Anymore

Church eating a dead bird in Pet Sematary 2019

While there are many, many great Stephen King adaptations, a legacy that is not anywhere near as strong is the history of sequels to King adaptations that aren't based on the author's own works. This is a collection of features that includes movies like the litany of Children Of The Corn follow-ups, The Rage: Carrie 2, and Sometimes They Come Back… Again. That being said, there is always the possibility that a new project will come along to break the mold, and that's what Paramount Pictures is banking on as their plans to make a follow-up to 2019's Pet Sematary are now moving forward.

We first learned that the movie was was coming together back in late February, with the announcement saying that it would be a prequel made as a Paramount+ original, but a new report from Deadline not only says that Lindsey Beer has come aboard to direct, but that the prequel idea might be off the table. The project was originally described as an "origins story," but this latest update merely says that plot details are unknown. In addition to taking the helm, Beer will also be doing a rewrite on the script, which was originally being penned by Jeff Buhler (who wrote the screenplay for the aforementioned Pet Sematary remake).

The untitled Pet Sematary follow-up will be Lindsey Beer's directorial debut after having spent the last few years getting a lot of attention for her screenwriting skills. She wrote the 2018 Netflix film Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, and has since worked on a number of high profile developing projects – including Sam Raimi's The Kingkiller Chronicle adaptation, the Short Circuit reboot, Sony's Silver Sable (based on the Marvel Comics character), and Paramount's M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand movie. According to the trade report, the studio was excited about the idea of finding a female filmmaker for the project as a reflection of the fact that another woman director, Mary Lambert, helmed the original Pet Sematary from 1989.

Now well-regarded as one of the scariest Stephen King stories, Pet Sematary was a novel that initially spent a fair amount of time in a drawer. The author didn't have plans to publish the incredibly dark tome, but when he was switching publishers from Doubleday to Viking he needed to close out his contract with a final book. It was published in 1983 – the same year as Christine and Cycle Of The Werewolf – and it is now a beloved part of King's canon.

Pet Sematary is a story about the power and madness of grief, following the innocent Creed family as they move into a new home in the city of Ludlow, Maine. When tragedy strikes and one of the children is killed in an accident, the father learns of an old Native American burial site that could revive his child. The hard lesson that he eventually learns, however, is that sometimes dead is better.

It will be curious to see how this project develops, and particularly how it makes itself distinct from the two adaptations of Pet Sematary that we've already seen. It's probably for the best that it won't be a prequel/origin story, as that doesn't really sound like it would have been the best direction for the property, but one big trap that the film will have to avoid is just telling the same story again with a different set of characters. The so-called Micmac Burial Ground in the book doesn't have a ton of diversity in its power, so how exactly that will be done is unclear. But now that's Lindsey Beer's job to figure out!

With a writer/director attached, and Paramount clearly hungry to fill Paramount+ with original content, this Pet Sematary follow-up could move through development fast, so stay tuned for more details. And while you wait, be sure to check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies And Television guide to stay on top of everything that is presently in the works.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.