Movie Fact #70 - October 26th, 2020

 

The 1989 film version of Pet Sematary, based on the 1983 Stephen King novel of the same name may be considered a cult classic now, but it almost didn't happen all together. Originally, the film rights were sold to George A. Romero in 1984 for $10,000 (King had previously declined several other offers for a film adaptation, but Romero eventually had to pull out of the production, as he was busy with Monkey Shines (Which would release in 1988). Despite this, development executive Lindsay Doran loved the finished script and advocated for it to be made at Embassy Pictures. She then did the same at Paramount Pictures after she became vice president of production there in 1985. However, each time she was told there was no more demand for Stephen King films after the slew of adaptations from his novels released in the early 80's.


What allowed the film to finally be considered at Paramount was due to the ongoing 1988 Writers Guild of America strike as the studio was facing a possible shortage of new productions for 1989 release. With Stephen King's script for Pet Sematary ready to go, Doran was given the greenlight to obtain the rights for Paramount and start production. King, who had final say on the choice of a director, met with the studio's first choice, Mary Lambert, who impressed him with her enthusiasm for his novels and her commitment to stay faithful to his source material, which secured her the job. The rest was history...or in this case dead and buried. Stay tuned!

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