'Pet Sematary' Sequel Certainly Sounds Like a Prequel, Casts a Young Version of Jud Crandall

There’s a new Pet Sematary movie on the way, and it certainly sounds like it’s going to be a prequel. The film was called a prequel when it was first announced. However, a report surfaced later stating that nothing had been decided yet, and that the “plot’s direction is still being figured out and a prequel is not guaranteed at this time.” Now, it looks as if we’re firmly back in “prequel” territory because it’s been revealed that Jackson White will play a young Jud Crandall, the nosy neighbor who knows all about that cursed burial ground that has the power to raise the dead.

Prequel, Sequel, Or Something Else?

Back in February, Paramount announced that a Pet Sematary prequel was on the way and headed directly to Disney+. The film would serve as a continuation of the 2019 Pet Sematary movie, based on the classic Stephen King novel of the same name. While Pet Sematary 2019 wasn’t a box office juggernaut like It, it still made a good amount of money, so it makes sense that Paramount might want more.

And besides, Pet Sematary producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura brought up the prequel idea back when the 2019 film was hitting theaters. “I think if there’s anything here, there’s a prequel,” said di Bonaventura. “I think if you look at the book, we didn’t cover all that stuff that happens before the Creed family moves in. So, I think there’s a movie there, and I think I’d be particularly interested in doing that, because, again, it’s the source material and you are going toward something that also has a lot of crazy, creepy feelings about it.”

But in May, things changed. Sort of. Lindsey Beer was announced to write and direct the film, and that news came with the revelation that, “Even though early reports said this would be a prequel, sources now say the plot’s direction is still being figured out and a prequel is not guaranteed at this time.” But even if that was the case at one point, it certainly seems like the movie is a prequel. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Young Jud Crandal 

Deadline just broke the news that Jackson White, an actor with credits on Mrs. Fletcher and the upcoming Michael Bay movie Ambulance, has been cast in the new Pet Sematary movie as Jud Crandall. If you’ve read Pet Sematary or seen either of the films, you’ll know that Jud Crandall is an elderly man who befriends the Creed family when they move to Ludlow, Maine. Crandall is an expert on local history, and he introduces the Creed family to a pet cemetery created by children in the woods behind their house.

He also introduces Louis Creed to another graveyard – a Micmac burial ground located deeper in those woods. And this is no normal burial ground. Any formerly living thing buried in the Micmac burial ground returns from the dead. But the people and animals who come back, don’t come back as they were in life. Instead, they’ve been changed into hateful, murderous ghouls.

Jud was played memorably by Fred Gwynne in the 1989 film adaptation of Pet Sematary, and then again by John Lithgow in the 2019 film. Bringing a younger Jud into the mix sure suggests that this new film is going to be a prequel. And while the story hasn’t been revealed yet, there are elements from King’s book that can be used here. For one thing, King’s novel has a lengthy flashback to Jud’s youth that has him dealing with Timmy Baterman, a young man killed in World War II who gets buried in the Micmac burial ground and then rises up and starts scaring the hell out of everyone in town. The 1989 movie included this flashback, but the 2019 film only hinted at the story. Is this new movie going to use that as a springboard? We’ll see!

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