Pet Sematary Church

It took five, count 'em, five felines to play Church the cat in new Pet Sematary

Contributed by
Oct 17, 2018, 10:05 PM EDT

The pivotal role of Church the cat in the upcoming remake of Stephen King's Pet Sematary was so important that it took no less than five feline actors to pull it off.

A London, Ontario animal trainer named Melissa Millett told the Prince George Citizen that she was recruited by the production, which has been shooting in Montreal, to work on the movie because she is known for being able to wrangle cats, who are more difficult to manage than dogs.

Millett revealed that a total of five cats, all rescues, were cast to play Church, although ultimately one of them dropped out after getting scared on the set. The feline actors were accommodated in five trailers, along with their human trainers, although one had to be kept in a separate trailer from the others because it did not get along with its castmates. Millett noted, "The only good working cat is a happy cat...They were quite spoiled."

The film crew even built an area near the trailers, nicknamed a "catio," where the hard-working kitties could play and relax between takes. The cats spent two months in training for the shoot, which took around 10 weeks. Aside from the one cranky cat, the rest reportedly got along well with each other and with the movie's human stars, including Jason Clarke and John Lithgow.

Best of all, the quintet of feline stars all found homes after the shoot was done: Two were adopted by the movie's animal coordinator, Millett found homes for another two with friends, and she kept one herself.

Of course, things don't go that swimmingly for Church in the story. In both King's novel and the 1989 film version, the Creed family's beloved cat has a rough time of it, to say the least, after the clan moves into a new home in an area of rural Maine that is home to both a dangerous stretch of road and an ancient burial ground.

The first trailer for the movie debuted online last week, along with a poster and new photos, while the movie itself (directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmeyer) is due for release on April 5, 2019.