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John Lithgow to play the creepy old guy in the Pet Sematary remake

Photo: Walter McBride (Getty Images)

The Pet Sematary remake has lined up some top talent for its all-important “creepy old guy who likes to cryptically hint about the evil out in them thar woods” part, with Entertainment Weekly reporting that John Lithgow has joined the film’s cast as Jud “Sometimes dead is better” Crandall. Lithgow has been especially prolific of late; he’s coming off of a recurring part as Winston Churchill in The Crown, not to mention his work on NBC’s Trial And Error and Daddy’s Home 2. Now, he joins a cast that includes Jason Clarke as Louis Creed, the doomed father who gets a little too interested in the haunted burial ground in back of his new rural home.

The part of Crandall was memorably played by Fred Gwynne in the 1989 film version of Stephen King’s book, chewing heartily on a thick Maine accent and rattling off a series of classic “creepy old guy” one-liners. Gwynne’s performance (and his thoroughly nasty death) remain one of the most notable aspects of an otherwise pretty forgettable movie, but it’s not hard to imagine Lithgow—who’s devoured his fair share of scenery in his day—doing something equally eye-and-ear-catching with the part.


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