The upcoming, still untitled, Pet Sematary prequel is still adding cast members to its roster. Variety is reporting that “actor, disability advocate and double hand amputee” John W. Lawson (“American Horror Story”) has now joined the cast and will star as “Stanny”. This marks the first time a double amputee has been cast in a leading role. The character was originally not an amputee and was rewritten just for the actor.
I have myoelectric hands… or what people commonly call ‘cyborg,’” Lawson told the site. “But most of the time, it’s just my hooks.”
After Lawson auditioned and got a call back he learned that new scenes had been written just for him. “And when I got the new sides,” He said to Variety, “they had completely written the role for the character to be an amputee. Which was freakin’ awesome. Because it was not [an amputee role before] in any way. That, to me, was a real turning point, not only in casting but in the mindset of Hollywood.”
Lindsey Beer, the director, told Variety that, “John’s audition portrayed a layered range of both aggressiveness and vulnerability. His character is hiding a secret and has led a difficult life that puts him on the offensive with our main character, young Jud Crandall. But underneath the bluster, Stanny is someone in search of connection, and he wants to tell our hero Jud the truth. [Lawson’s] performance really brought humanity and nuance to the role.”
Lawson joins a cast that already includes Jackson White, Forrest Goodluck, Jack Mulhern, Natalie Alyn Lind, Isabella Star LeBlanc, Samantha Mathis, Henry Thomas, and Pam Grier. Beer wrote the newest draft of the script originally written by Jeff Buhler.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing the still-untitled movie that will premiere exclusively on Paramount+.