Jason Clarke was relieved to learn that author Stephen King approved of the Pet Sematary remake.
King’s 1983 horror novel was first adapted for the big screen in 1989, and it has now undergone the remake treatment, with the Australian actor playing Dr. Louis Creed, who moves to a new home with his family and discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden in the woods behind it.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jason said he felt relieved to read emails in which the renowned horror writer gave his seal of approval, given that King didn’t hold back in voicing his issues with Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of his 1977 novel The Shining.
“Of course, yeah. I like The Shining, and I’m sure Stephen appreciates that movie in some way. In the emails that I’ve seen, King understands that his work has to be interpreted,” Jason explained. “There’s no way just to do a straight adaptation of his book. The directors had to make it their own, which I think they’ve done. It’s wonderful to have that dialogue. It must be great for him to see his books be interpreted still, 30-40 years after they’ve been written.”
The First Man actor read the novel in his teens and was scared by it. Although he was a fan of the source material, Jason had to leave that behind and surrender to the script and his directors, Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, when it came to the shoot.
“You have to shoot the film in the end; the script is what you’re shooting. It’s easy to make that mistake as an actor: to try and do the source material,” he continued. “If it’s not gonna work for the story that’s going to be told in the cinema, it’s gonna kind of run into a brick wall. So, that’s the director’s job — to guide you.”
However, he recalled a moment when he improvised a line which was inspired by a different character’s piece of dialogue in the novel.
“By understanding the source material, you find ways to bring out more of the book, when you can, while still shooting the script,” he added.
Pet Sematary, which also stars John Lithgow and Amy Seimitz, is due for release in April (19).
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