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Pet Sematary 2 - What We Know So Far

"Pet Sematary," released in 2019, was not the first work to bear that title. It was the latest in a lineage of various "Pet Semataries," so to speak. In its initial incarnation, "Pet Sematary" was a book by Stephen King before it was adapted into a film in 1989. That first movie included one notably horrific sequence, and it film received a sequel in 1992. Finally, the 2019 version of "Pet Sematary" drew from its source material's lineage in both book and film form while altering one key plot detail, albeit with King's approval.

On May 17, 2021, Deadline announced that a sequel to the recent "Pet Sematary" found a director. Lindsey Beer will helm the upcoming film, stepping into the director's chair for the first time in her career. Other works by Beer include the screenplay for high school dramedy "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser," writing for the upcoming Netflix comic book TV series "The Magic Order," the screenplay for an upcoming film adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss' modern fantasy classic "The Kingkiller Chronicle," and upcoming Sony "Spider-Man" villain film "Silver Sable," among others.

Outside of the announcement of its director, details about "Pet Sematary 2" are scarce. That said, here's what we know so far.

When will Pet Sematary 2 be released?

Deadline's announcement of Lindsey Beer's role in the "Pet Sematary" sequel includes no mention of a planned date for the film's release. The only concrete information about its release detailed thus far is that the film will not be available in theaters like its predecessor. Instead, Paramount+ will become the exclusive home for the sequel.

Not all films produced by Paramount will be released directly to their streaming platform, as per a prior announcement about the studio's plans. Entries in marquee franchises, like "Mission: Impossible 7" and "A Quiet Place: Part II" will be released in theaters first, before their streaming release 45 days afterward. "Pet Sematary 2," along with a new entry in the "Paranormal Activity" series, are the only widely released films that you'll need Paramount+ to view.

Given how early "Pet Sematary 2" appears to be in production, its release is unlikely to be scheduled for any time this year. A mid-to-late 2022 release is most likely, though early 2023 could remain a possibility should its production stall at any point.

Who will star in Pet Sematary 2?

The producers of the upcoming "Pet Sematary 2" have not yet announced who will star in the sequel to the 2019 film, nor whether cast members from the first film will return. That said, both the ending of the 2019 film and the cast of the 1992 "Pet Sematary" sequel seem to indicate that the upcoming film is likely to feature an almost entirely new cast.

The 1992 film "Pet Sematary Two" starred a new slate of actors, due to almost all of the prior film's primary characters dying or transforming into murderous undead creatures. What was retained was the first film's central Ludlow, Maine setting. In the 2019 version of "Pet Sematary," all of its primary characters are likewise killed off (some resurrected and turned murderous) by the film's end, suggesting that, by necessity, a new film will center on new characters as well.

Furthermore, "Pet Sematary" producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Consequence of Sound in 2019 that the next entry in the franchise will likely be a prequel, similarly retaining the Ludlow setting but chronicling what happened in the town prior to the arrival of the first film's Creed family. The one character that may reappear is the Creeds' neighbor, Jud Crandall, though a younger, prequel version of the character may consequently be portrayed by a younger actor. The entire cast of "Pet Sematary 2," then, will likely remain unknown until its official announcement.

What will be the plot of Pet Sematary 2?

The central concept of "Pet Sematary" is the titular cemetery (misspelled on signage by children) within the small town of Ludlow, Maine. The cemetery is capable of bringing the dead back to life. The powers of the cemetery are first revealed when the Creed family's cat, Church, is killed and consequently resurrected by their neighbor, Jud Crandall. Church, however, comes back with violent tendencies that were not present in his first life. The film soon reveals that humans, too, are brought back, not as they once were, but as violent supernatural monsters.

If "Pet Sematary 2" is a prequel, as suggested by di Bonaventura, then the film will likely explore times that humans and/or animals were resurrected in the cemetery prior to the arrival of the Creed family. Since Jud only describes resurrecting his dog, the resurrection of Creed family daughter Ellie may be the first such revival of a human being, at least in Jud's lifetime. A prequel might explore human resurrection in a time before Jud, or its monstrous zombie-like villains might only be animals.

In the latter case, the film could further explore the Wendigo, a forest spirit seemingly responsible for the cemetery's magic powers, only glimpsed briefly in the first film. We should find out whether or not "Pet Sematary 2" will be a prequel and how its story will relate to the first film as its release date draws closer.