flowers in the attic lifetime heather graham kiernan shipka mason dye 'Flowers in the Attic' sequel 'Petals on the Wind' already in the worksComing Saturday, Jan. 18 to Lifetime is “Flowers in the Attic,” a new film adaptation of V.C. Andrews‘ controversial 1979 novel of the same name. 

At the 2014 TCA press tour, stars Heather Graham, Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye were on hand to discuss the project. But before they talked about the upcoming film, Lifetime announced that a sequel, based on Andrews’ follow-up novel “Petals on the Wind,” is already in the works.

In fact, screenwriter Kayla Alpert is already working on the script for “Petals.”

“I don’t want to give away too much. It basically takes place about 10
years after the first movie ends and I will just say that it’s a very
juicy, compelling revenge drama,” says Alpert.
But as far as the first film goes, the cast says that they did their research by reading the book and seeing the original film from 1987.

“I did read the book,” says Dye. “[Our movie] is identical. It follows the book verbatim. A lot of the script, the dialogue, follows straight out of the book too, right along with it.”

Alpert says that the production team did that on purpose. “We made a conscious decision with Lifetime and the producers to stick as closely as we could to the original book,” she says. “We did not shy away from the taboo subjects, as you will see.”

The writer continues, “I had never seen the original movie and I made a conscious decision before I launched into writing the script to not watch it. I started watching it about 10 minutes after we started production. I think they steered pretty clear of some of the original material and it just wasn’t that interesting to me.”

Alpert adds that the Lifetime version was not afraid to explore the darker aspects of the book.

“It’s really juicy, it’s really compelling. It’s kind of a writer’s
dream,” says Alpert. “It’s fun going back and remembering those crazy-a** scenes I had
sort of repressed. It was a blast. I feel like we really went for it. We
did not pull any punches.”

One of the darker aspects of “Flowers in the Attic” is Ellen Burstyn‘s character Olivia Foxworth, the menacing grandmother who is responsible for keeping the children locked away in the attic for so many months. The actors say she was a joy to work with, even if she was playing such a monster.

“The little kids were really excited to be scared by [Burstyn],” says Shipka. “They were really excited for the scene where she kicks them and pulls their hair. … Working with Ellen is sort of every actor’s dream and being able to do such intense scenes with such an accomplished actress was just a cool experience for me.”

“Flowers in the Attic” premieres Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."