Flowers In the Attic's Ellen Burstyn And Heather Graham To Return For Petals On the Wind

With more than six million viewers turning in for Lifetime's broadcast of the small screen adaptation of V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, a sequel seems inevitable. In fact, the network already announced that they were developing the followup for the story, based on Andrews' novel Petals on the Wind, and today brings some updates on that front, including that Ellen Burstyn and Heather Graham will reprise their roles as Olivia Foxworth and Corrine Dollanganger/Foxworth respectively.

EW shared the update, along with word that Dylan Bruce is expected to return as well. Bruce played the role of Bart Winslow in Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic. Though he didn't have a ton of screen time in the TV movie, if the follow-up is as faithful an adaptation of Petals on the Wind was as Flowers in the Attic was — at least by comparison to the 1987 movie — to its corresponding book, we'll hopefully see plenty of Bart in the sequel.

The original story centers on four kids whose mother locks them in the upstairs bedroom and attic of her parent's grand Virginia mansion while she attempts to regain her dying father's adoration and a place in his will. (Spoilers if you haven't gotten around to watching it or haven't read the book!) The TV movie, which starred Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye as siblings Cathy and Chris, left off with the two of them and their younger sister Carrie escaping the house and setting off to find their future, after suffering years of abuse and neglect at the hands of their ultra-religious grandmother and greedy, superficial mother.

EW notes that the kids will be recast for the sequel, which is no surprise, as we learned previously that the follow-up would jump ten years into the future following Chris, Cathy and Carrie's escape. Andrews' Petals on the Wind actually picks up pretty much right where Flowers left off, so this is already a deviation from the books, however it's not hard to understand why they're doing it, as Petals spans years and sees Chris, Cathy and Carrie grow up from kids to adults, while Cathy eventually plots her revenge against her mother. Recasting the kids allows for them to pick adults to portray the characters, rather than trying to force us to pretend Shipka and Dye are believably in their mid-twenties.

EW also notes that Burstyn's role will be smaller than it was in the Flowers in the Attic movie. That too isn't surprising, as we don't see much of the grandmother in Petals on the Wind, but without getting too spoilery, she does factor in to Cathy's plans in a memorable way. On the acting side, Burstyn was the best thing Flowers in the Attic had going, but given the choice between them writing her character up for the sequel to give her a bigger part and sticking to the source material, I prefer the latter, so no complaints there. Let's just hope they find the perfect Cathy. One that can dance would be an added bonus. Which brings us to the question of whether Julian and Paul will feature prominently in the TV movie, or if the main focus will be on Cathy's revenge. We'll be on the lookout for more updates!

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.