These days, post-apocalyptic scenarios dominate the young adult book genre, but back in the day (and what seems like centuries ago), I was a huge fan of V.C. Andrews (before the ghostwriting nonsense hit). My favorite book by Andrews was My Sweet Audrina, but I also very much loved the Dollanganger series and read those books so many times they fell apart. Of course, the 1987 Flowers In The Attic movie was my very first experience with a wholly disappointing adaptation. God, that movie was terrible. I get that the subject matter is incredibly controversial in these books, but the film whitewashed the entire Cathy & Chris relationship and almost completely ignored the plight of little Carrie. If I hadn’t read the book ahead of watching the movie, I’d have never understood why the grandmother was acting so freaking weird and then bursting into the children’s chambers to scream, “Sinners!” Plus, they changed the ending, and the movie completely failed to capture any of the spirit of the book. So disappointing.
Twenty-five years later and for whatever reason, the Hollywood powers that be have decided that a new remake is in order. Perhaps because the first film wasn’t financially successful, producers are going the small-screen route and making this a Lifetime movie, which just might target the same women who watched the original movie so long ago. Here’s one promising detail — the mother, Corrine, will be played by Heather Graham! I’m a little bit excited by this news even though I fear this remake won’t be much better than the original:
V.C. Andrews’ controversial bestselling book, Flowers in the Attic, is getting a TV movie adaptation at Lifetime. The cable network has greenlighted the film, which will star Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn. Flowers In The Attic weaves the gothic tale of four young siblings, two boys and two girls, who, after the tragic death of their father, are torn from an idyllic life and subjected to cruel emotional and physical abuse resulting from a dark, long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother, Corrine (Graham), and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy and girl come of age both emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Burstyn (Political Animals) will portray the children’s grandmother, Olivia. In the 1987 feature adaptation of Flowers In The Attic, which was not well received, Corrine was played by Victoria Tennant, Olivia by Louise Fletcher. Andrews’ Flowers In The Attic became the first book in the Dollanganger Series, and was followed by Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows.
In a physical sense, Heather Graham seems like the perfect embodiment (both age and beauty-wise) of Corrine. I don't quite know how Lifetime will choose to deal with the unavoidable incest themes of the book, but I guess we'll see what happens. Ellen Burstyn seems like a good choice for the grandmother, Olivia, and hopefully, that character will be less nebulous than she was in the original movie.
Speaking of dubious remakes, Rosemarie DeWitt has just been announced as the lead in the new Poltergeist reboot. They're .... baaack.
Photos courtesy of WENN