The first film adaptation of Pet Sematary came out in 1989. But it seems that with the remake of It, plus Gerald's Game and 1922 on Netflix, and 11/22/63 on Hulu, that Stephen King is very much in the zeitgeist.
The movie is being produced by Paramount, and has already cast Jason Clarke as Louis Creed, one of the two leads. But now, EW has reported that they have cast John Lithgow as the nextdoor neighbor, Jud Crandall.
The description of Crandall's first appearance in the book is as follows...
"He turned and saw an old man of perhaps seventy — a hale and healthy seventy — standing there on the grass. He wore a biballs over a blue chambray shirt that showed his thickly folded and wrinkled neck. His face was sunburned, and he was smoking an unfiltered cigarette. He held his hand out and smiled crookedly…a smile Louis liked at once."
Later, Clarke finds out that Crandall is even older than he thought, which shocks him. The film will be directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, who directed the horror film Starry Eyes, about a woman who sacrifices it all for stardom in Hollywood.
Some were skeptical that anyone could top the original Jud Crandall, Fred Gwynne...
Big shoes to fill from Fred Gwynn but Lithgow is always terrific so I’m glad it’s him.— Andy Kerrigan (@KerriganAndy) May 4, 2018
Fred Gwynne left some pretty big shoes to fill. Lithgow’s great, but Gwynne was the perfect mix of creepy and kindly, and it will be hard for anyone to make Jud Crandall’s character their own. I’m curious to see his approach. Another reason to check out the new adaptation.— Alan Horsnell (@papa_aint_salty) May 4, 2018
I'm intrigued. Can't wait to see how he plays the character. Gwynne was perfection in the role, it'll be interesting to see how Lithgow approaches it!— NecroMomicon (@JesDKArt) May 4, 2018
But most were just excited...
John Lithgow will bring some serious justice to the role of Jud Crandall. I'm not a fan of remakes, but this? Ahhh..I cannot WAIT.— MadameMage (@MadamMage) May 5, 2018
Wow, this is actually a great casting move. Lithgow will do a great job.— Savage Void (@SavageVoidMusic) May 4, 2018
But there were those who were skeptical of remaking this story...
This is why there should be no remake of Pet Cemetery. It was perfect! Now Silver Bullet/Cycle of the Werewolf could use a remake due to the horrible FX in the original.— Nicole Wagner (@DeadlyGambit) May 4, 2018
It will be interesting to see what happens... it’s a classic. They should be careful with it.— alexa (@MOvMprod) May 4, 2018
They can not make anything new.. Props to Lithgow but WHY?— Darrel V Willis (@DVincentW) May 4, 2018