Ahead of the premiere of its telepic "Flowers in the Attic," Lifetime has announced plans for a sequel. The followup will be based on the second book in the V.C. Andrews series, "Petals in the Wind."
The announcement was made Thursday just before the network's panel to promote "Flowers in the Attic" during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena. Kayla Alpert, who adapted the controversial novel for Lifetime, is penning the sequel. The story will pick up 10 years after "Attic" ends.
"I will just say it is a very juicy compelling revenge drama," she said. Plans by Lifetime to develop the remaining books in the series are still unclear. Maybe if enough people tune in to "Attic," which will be shown Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. PST, they'd be more inclined.
Buzz for the newest adaptation (there was a 1987 film that's available on Netflix) has been building since the project was greenlighted by Lifetime earlier this summer -- as one might expect. The preteen incest novel has amassed quite the following since its release in 1979, and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, Robert Sharenow, Lifetime's executive vice president and general manager, noted ahead of the panel.
The lurid story centers on siblings confined in an attic by their conspiring grandmother and mother. Its subject of incest between a brother and a sister, who in the TV film are played by Mason Dye and "Mad Men's" Kiernan Shipka, led to it being banned in some areas.
"There was a lot of condensing we had to do," Alpert said. "Even though it takes place over the course of two years, we had to pick and choose our moments." Though Alpert said she stayed as true to the book as possible -- and more than the previous adaptation -- additions were made "in the spirit of making it dramatic." The relationship between the grandmother (Ellen Bursytn) and her daughter, the mother of the imprisoned children (Heather Graham), was fleshed out.
"V.C. Andrews can describe what people are going through," Alpert said. "We had to dramatize that and not every scene is that dramatic."