Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura has defended his decision to change Stephen King’s Pet Sematary storyline and kill off an eight-year-old girl in the new film.
In King’s 1983 book and the 1989 film adaptation, the Creed family’s two-year-old son, Gage, is killed in a traffic accident, but in the remake it’s daughter Ellie who dies and is resurrected.
The change has been criticised by some fans, and Di Bonaventura admits he was worried it would lead to a wave of backlash – but, ultimately, he’s glad the decision was made to kill off an older child.
“For the audience that knows the book or the movie, it should have some shock effect,” he says. “But it also allowed us to delve deeper into the idea of evil and discuss some existential ideas that you can’t do with a child who is pretty much preverbal.”
King has given the story change and the new film the thumbs up, and Jason Clarke, who plays Dr. Louis Creed – the father in the new movie, is relieved.
“In the emails that I’ve seen, King understands that his work has to be interpreted,” Jason told The Hollywood Reporter. “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 to 40 years after they’ve been written.”
Pet Sematary, which also stars John Lithgow and Amy Seimitz, hits cinemas in North America on Friday (05Apr19).
© Cover Media