V.C. Andrews' controversial novel, Flowers in the Attic, is coming to Lifetime tonight in a new adaption written for television. The movie stars Heather Graham (Scrubs), Ellen Burstyn (Political Animals), Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Mason Dye (Secret Diary of an American Cheerleader) and Dylan Bruce (Orphan Black).
Flowers in the Attic tells the story of the Dollanganger kids. After their father's death, their mother takes them to live with their grandparents. Instead of a happy family reunion, the kids are kept hidden, must keep quiet, and can only play in the attic.
It's the story of abuse, manipulation, and captivity. It's not a movie for the faint-hearted and at times is extremely difficult to watch. The Dollanganger kids are betrayed by their mother and left with only each other to lean on.
The movie is not as explicit as it could be, Kayla Alpert, the screenwriter explained, "We had to get a little creative. And I think, just like in the novel, the teasing out of some of the violence and sexuality was it's more fun to kind of imply it than to show it."
The Lifetime movie is a period piece that takes place in the 1950s. They considered modernizing the story, but felt the story wouldn't feel authentic. Alpert said, "It would be too hard to actually have a credible version of this story -- if people are on Facebook and Twitter two teenagers can't just disappear without people knowing where they are."
It would have also been problematic if they wanted to do any of the sequels, which would have then been in the future. Robert Sharenow, Lifetime's executive vice president, has high expectations for the movie and has already moved forward with plans for the sequel.
"And we're also very proud and pleased to announce that we're in development on a sequel already, Petals on the Wind, which is the next book in the series. We are so bullish on this movie that we are already planning on the sequel, which doesn't happen very often."
Alpert teases the next installment which she is currently writing, "It basically takes place about ten years after the first movie ends, and I will just say that it is a very juicy, compelling, revenge drama."
Check out the extended Flowers in the Attic trailer.
Flowers in the Attic airs Saturday, January 18 at 8 pm ET on Lifetime.
(Image courtesy of Lifetime)