Apparently, axe murderers in the 1800's are a hot commodity right now; or rather one axe murderer is the subject of such popularity. You've seen the mini-series, as well as the TV movie – but now get ready for Lizzie Borden: The Movie; starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart.
The Hollywood Reporter announced recently that the pair are in talks to play Borden and her live-in maid, Bridget Sullivan, respectively. Sevigny sounds like she's already signed on, with Stewart being reported as circling the "early negotiations" phase. Directing the project is Waste Land's Pieter Van Hees, who looks to add a relatively big project to his resume with this untitled film.
Both actors are in a good spot in their careers to spice things up. With Chloe Sevigny just about to break out the weirdness in American Horror Story: Hotel, and with Kristen Stewart branching out into any and every genre she can partake in, the story of a woman who might have actually been a cold blooded murderer sounds like an interesting direction for both. Interestingly enough, this project may have spawned from a previously reported collaboration between Sevigny and production company Playtone Productions – as both were engaged in dealings a couple of years ago, and have come to the table again with this untitled project.
An interesting angle the film could play up, as the legends have suggested, is the possible romantic relationship between Borden and Sullivan. Looking at Van Hees' resume, it's starting to look like this might be a big reason that he got the job. While his limited number of screen credits would suggest that this is Pieter Van Hees' first English speaking film, they certainly don't suggest him to be a lightweight when it comes to violence on screen. In particular, his loose adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, entitled Black XXX-Mas, suggests that sex and violence are his specialty. Considering the details of the Lizzie Borden case, as well as the nursery rhyme that was inspired by the real life crime, Van Hees might make a film that's a little more grindhouse and a little less arthouse.
This is an interesting move as, again, Lizzie Borden has been the subject of both a TV-movie and miniseries on the Lifetime channel, with Christina Ricci in the lead role. Even Supernatural is getting into the Lizzie Borden game, with an episode entitled "Thin Lizzie," that's set to air on November 4th – and deals with, "a possible haunting of the house where the murders took place." Much like the financial crisis, the lives of bugs, and planetary disaster caused by flying space debris, Lizzie Borden is becoming a competitive market to be a part of.
If done right, the story of Lizzie Borden could be a riveting ride that could rival even the Lifetime version of the tale. A film adaptation's greatest advantage is that it can really play around with the romantic angle between Lizzie Borden and Bridget Sullivan. At least, it could in a way that you wouldn't see on basic cable. With Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart seeming like to be up for anything, this project could go in a number of exciting directions. There's no production start or intended release date in mind, we'll be keeping our ears open for any further word on the bloody tale of murder and supposed innocence.