It was just back in late February that it was announced Paramount+ is developing a follow-up to the 2019 adaptation of Stephen King's Pet Sematary – but it's been a bit of a challenge to get a sense of exactly what the project is. When it was first reported on by the trades the streaming project was described as an "origins" movie that would ostensibly operate as a prequel... but then it was announced in May that writer/director Lindsay Beer had come aboard, and at that time it was said that the project was potentially not a prequel, but something else instead.
Now, however, it seems we are rolling back to the prequel discourse, as a major character has been recast, and it's a touch hard not to notice the age differential between the two actors.
According to Deadline, Lindsay Beer has made the call to cast Jackson White in the role of Jud Crandall in the developing Pet Sematary follow-up – which you may remember as the part played by John Lithgow in the 2019 remake. Given that Lithgow was 72 when he took on the role, and that White is in his mid-20s, it seems fair to now assume that the story that is being told in the upcoming film will be set decades before the tragic tale of the Creed family and their journey to learn the lesson "sometimes dead is better."
Jackson White will be the third actor to portray Jud Crandall, as John Lithgow was preceded in the role by Fred Gwynne – who played the character in the 1989 Mary Lambert-directed adaptation of Stephen King's novel. Crandall notably doesn't appear in the original Pet Sematary sequel, 1992's Pet Sematary II, and that's largely because the character famously doesn't make it out of King's story alive (the same holds true for Lithgow's version in the 2019 remake).
Nothing has been confirmed about the plot that will be playing out in Lindsay Beer's Pet Sematary movie, though one now can't help but think about the story Jud Crandall tells protagonist Louis Creed about how he himself originally discovered the evil resurrection powers of the Micmac Burial Ground. Could this new film be an expansion on that horror tale? Or does it have something brand new in the mix?
The feature film will be just the fourth made by Jackson White, who is the son of actor Katey Sagal and musician Jack White (no, not that Jack White). In the last few years his credits include recurring roles on The Middle, SEAL Team, and Mrs. Fletcher, and he most recently starred alongside Kelsey Grammer in Rachel Winter's recently released The Space Between.
Production on the mysterious new Pet Sematary film is scheduled to start in August, and it is being planned for release as a Paramount+ exclusive. Hopefully we'll hear more updates about casting soon that provide more clues about the plot. For now, to learn about all of the Stephen King adaptations that are currently in the works, be sure to check out our Upcoming Stephen King guide.