Stephen King fans have seen the author's work adapted dozens and dozens of times, but Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is a standout in its approach to its source material. Instead of being based on the entire book from which it gets the first part of its title, the film is basically an adaptation of a single chapter (not unlike what we saw this summer with The Voyage Of The Demeter and its origins in Dracula). It's unconventional, but it has earned the approval of King, who has seen it and praised both the characters and the performance of David Duchovny.
As he has been known to do regularly, Stephen King shared his thought about Pet Sematary: Bloodlines on his personal Twitter account – noting that the adaptation does stray from what he originally wrote:
BLOODLINES: In the book, this is the story Jud Crandall tells Louis Creed to try and dissuade him from using the Pet Sematary. The screenplay takes a few liberties, but it's a fine story. David Duchovny is excellent. The secret, as always, is caring about the characters.
The timing of the post is not exactly coincidental, as the first trailer for Pet Sematary: Bloodlines – a Paramount+ original – arrived online earlier today. You can watch it below:
Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is set in 1969 and stars Jackson White as young Jud Crandall, the character memorably played by Fred Gwynne and John Lithgow in the 1989 and 2019 adaptations of Pet Sematary, respectively. He and the woman he will eventually marry, Norma (Natalie Alyn Lind), are ready to leave their hometown of Ludlow, Maine to take on an assignment for the Peace Corps. Their plans, however, are interrupted by Timmy Baterman (Jack Mulhern) – a childhood friend of Jud's who didn't return from the Vietnam War alive, but is seen walking around thanks to his father (David Duchovny) taking a trip to the notorious local Micmac burial ground.
This story is featured in the original 1989 adaptation of Pet Sematary, with Jud recounting the tale to his grieving neighbor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff), though it notably isn't included in the 2019 remake. That being said, if you want to watch John Lithgow tell the story of Jud's young adulthood, all you have to do is purchase a copy of the Pet Sematary 4K UHD and check out the short film The Tale Of Timmy Baterman in the special features.
As seen just a few months ago with director Rob Savage's The Boogeyman, films that take inspiration from shorter Stephen King source material need to get creative in order to expand their stories to feature length. Knowing this, it's hardly surprising that Pet Sematary: Bloodlines is changing up a few things from what's in the book. Despite the "liberties" it takes, however, the movie now has King's stamp of approval (though one also can't ignore that his praise isn't exactly histrionic).
Written and directed by Lindsey Anderson Beer, Pet Sematary: Bloodlines stars Forrest Goodluck, Henry Thomas, Samantha Mathis, Isabella Star LaBlanc and Pam Grier in addition to Jackson White, Natalie Alyn Lind, Jack Mulhern and David Duchovny. The movie is arriving just in time for Halloween, as anyone with a Paramount+ subscription will be able to watch it on October 6.
To learn about more adaptations that are currently in the works, check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide, and for a full breakdown of King's relationship with Hollywood, you can read installments of my Adapting Stephen King column.