Stephen King fansite Lijas Library recently conducted a one-on-one interview with David Kajganich, the man who had been working on the remake of Pet Sematary for Paramount Pictures, and a feature film adaptation of King’s IT (previously a made-for-TV movie event). Inside you’ll find updates on both projects, along with some fresh Intel on the IT adaptation.
ON “PET SEMATARY”
“After I turned in my first draft, Paramount went through a top-down regime change and I was given a new executive who had creative ideas I just couldn’t stand behind,” he tells Lilja’s Library. “They wanted to appeal to younger audiences, so there was talk of making a teenaged Ellie the main character, and etc. It was really heartbreaking, but that’s how the process works sometimes. The studio was gracious enough to let me out of my contract and the project was dormant at the studio until very recently.
“The current news is that Paramount has restarted the process with a new producer and writer (Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Matt Greenberg; both previously announced),” he continues. “I wish I could tell you something about their approach, or how it’s going, but I’m entirely out of the loop now.”
“In all of my talks with the studio, it has only ever been discussed as a single feature film. The book’s length is clearly more suited to a mini-series–and I understand very well why they went that route the last time around–but I think the book’s content is really more appropriate for cinema. I told the studio from the beginning that I felt I needed to be able to write for an R rating, since I wanted to be as candid as the novel about the terrible things the characters go through as kids. They agreed and off I went.”
Comparing the feature to the TV series.
“I think the biggest difference is that we’re working with about two-thirds the onscreen time they had for the miniseries. That sounds dire, I know, but it doesn’t necessarily mean two-thirds the amount of story. I’m finding as many ways as I can to make certain scenes redundant by deepening and doubling others. To me, this is an interesting process because it has the effect of thematically intensifying the whole, but it can lead to dramatic surprises. Certain scenes I thought would be crucial to the coherence of the whole ended up cut, while other scenes, which were somewhat cursory in the book, ended up being pivotal in the script.
“I know I’m being vague, but there’s not a lot I can tell you at this point about the specifics, since we’re still very much in development on it. I’ll just say for now that we’re really swinging for the fences.”
I’d personally love to see IT in theaters, but I just don’t know about a Pet Sematary redo.