V.C. Andrews’ controversial bestselling book, Flowers in the Attic, is getting a TV movie adaptation at Lifetime. The cable network has greenlighted the film, which will star Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn. Flowers In The Attic weaves the gothic tale of four young siblings, two boys and two girls, who, after the tragic death of their father, are torn from an idyllic life and subjected to cruel emotional and physical abuse resulting from a dark, long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother, Corrine (Graham), and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy and girl come of age both emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live.
“Please please please please please don’t eff this up. The original movie was the biggest disappointment of my adolescence. This story can’t be told in a 2-hour movie. I hope you’re treating it like a back-door pilot or something. It should be a mini-series.”
“P.S. Yes, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I read the entire series.”
“DON’T BE! I and my friends all read these many times over. This was the Twilight of the 80s. Only with actual sex, but also with non-ideal partners. And intense bullying. And people who actually get SICK from not being in the sun.”
“I tried reading the novels but by the 5th one the creepiness and absurdity was too much to bare [sic].”
“There are only 4 books…and a prequel I guess.”
“This is a terrible idea but the inclusion of Heather Graham makes it an obviously drug-influenced terrible idea. Like, bad drugs. Fancy, imported ones.”
“I hope Kristy Swanson at least gets a cameo.”
“Hmm, too bad they couldn’t change things a tad and have it be ‘the two older boys’ or ‘the two older girls’ develop a…special bond.”
“I read the book when I was 11. It was beyond creepy, I got nightmares & kept my distance from my brother.”
“I would love to Burstyn Heather.”
“It’d be great if this were done with Disney kid actors. Shot with whoever shot Escape To Witch Mountain. Make this the Disney movie of Hell.”
“I really do not have high hopes with this being a Lifetime movie. That’s not even enough time to really get through the first chapters. Let alone the book, there’s just too much that goes on and the subject matter is not meant for basic cable.
I wished it was picked up by Showtime or HBO and that way the entire Dollanganger series could have been adapted over five seasons like Game of Thrones or the Tudors. But on Lifetime, I feel they should have left it alone because they are just going to blow it like Rain and the 80s version of FITA.”
“The reason the ’87 movie wasn’t well received was because it was so butchered that it was hardly recognizable. Even the film makers knew it, thus ending it the way they did instead of leaving it open to the book sequels. Even if this version sucks, there’s no way it can be worse than that movie.”
“It would be amazing if they stuck to the actual decade that the book took place in this time, which was in the Fifties. It would be disappointing to have the book mimic our present time once again in which the kids would have to hand over their iphones to the grandmother or something to that effect so they can’t call for help. That would ruin the entire story for me.
I also think that they shouldn’t chop up the story trying to fit it all into a two hour movie. It would be so much better if they made a mini series based on all of the Dollanganger books. This is the type of story that isn’t over until the fifth and final book. Except the fifth book, Garden of Shadows, which is the prequel of Flowers in the Attic should be done throughout the mini series in the form of flashbacks being thought of by Olivia and Malcolm until little by little the entire shocking twist is revealed at the end of Olivia’s life that shows how she became the cruel way she is.”
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.