The story follows a doctor who recently moves to the countryside after previously being accustomed to city life. Like almost all King novels, the story takes place in Maine. When the doctor and his family move to the country, their pet cat is killed. When he takes the dead cat to a nearby pet cemetery (the sign of the cemetery misspelled as “Sematary”), the cat comes back to life, as the cemetery is built on an ancient burial ground. After a tragic event occurs, resulting in the death of the doctor’s young son, he takes the boy to the supernatural cemetery, where he comes back to life but in demonic form. Thank you, Stephen King, for that.
Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train, the forthcoming Grudge reboot) wrote the most recent draft of the adaptation, with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian and Steven Schneider producing. Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the duo who co-directed the 2014 fantasy horror feature Starry Eyes, will direct.
If negotiations work out, Clarke will play the doctor who moves his family to this little terrifying town in Maine where, of course, there’s a creepy cemetery spelled wrong and people resurrected in demonic forms. The Australian actor is known for a string of great performances working with incredible directors, such as Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning Zero Dark Thirty, Baz Lurhmann’s The Great Gatsby remake, Dee Rees’ Oscar-nominated Mudbound, John Hillcoat’s bootlegging drama Lawless and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. Clarke also starred in the 2015 drama based on a real-life expedition, Everest, as well as White House Down, 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and All I See Is You with Blake Lively. Currently, he can be seen playing Ted Kennedy in the true story of Chappaquiddick.
Coming up next for Clarke is a string of intriguing films, including Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic with Ryan Gosling, First Man, the Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey fishing thriller Serenity, and the post World War II reconstruction drama The Aftermath with Keira Knightley.
No word yet on who is circling the role of the doctor’s wife in Pet Sematary, but check back for more details. The film is expected for a 2019 release.