Next year, the iconic Church returns to the big screen in Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch’s re-adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, though you’ve probably noticed that he doesn’t quite look the way he did in the original 1989 adaptation. Church, in Mary Lambert’s film, was of course a grey cat, but the new Church looks like the cat on the book’s original cover.
A handful of different cats played the role of Church in next year’s film, just as they did back in 1989, and Ontario trainer Melissa Millett just talked to Prince George Citizen about her role on the set. Millett was in charge of, well, making sure the cats were on top of their acting game!
“I secretly think they are smarter than dogs. That’s why you can’t train them,” Millett told the site, explaining that five different cats were trained over a period of two months. “It certainly is very hard, but a lot of fun once they get rolling.”
Millett explained that the cats shared five trailers on set, and an outdoor “catio” was provided so that they could relax and play between takes – “They were quite spoiled,” Millett notes. Only one of the cats proved to be a bit of a diva, forcing the team to put the pesky feline in its own trailer, away from the other cats. Sounds like a true movie star to us!
One of the cats, named Tonic (pictured below), was adopted by Millett herself after filming wrapped, with the other four finding homes with friends and the film’s animal coordinators.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more for these kitties, and they work as a team, so this will continue to be a great team,” Millett believes. “I don’t know how Tonic feels about now being a regular cat. He says, ‘Come on! Excuse me!’”