Craig William Macneill, who made his directorial debut with last year’s horror thriller The Boy, will direct Lizzie Borden, a psychological thriller based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family.
Chloe Sevigny, who is in Cannes with her short film Kitty, which is premiering in the Critics Week, and Kristen Stewart, also in Cannes with two films, are attached to star in Lizzie Borden, as The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported. The story centers on the true events that led up to the grisly ax murders of Borden’s father and stepmother in Massachusetts.
Sevigny will play the titular character, a young woman who longs for freedom from her controlling father. She finds friendship with a young maid named Bridget (Stewart), and their relationship soon escalates to attraction, love and bloody vengeance.
Borden was tried and acquitted for the murder of her parents, and no one else was ever charged.
Bryce Kass wrote the script for Lizzie Borden, which Naomi Despres is producing. The Solution’s Lisa Wilson and Josh Deitell are selling foreign rights in Cannes and WME is handling domestic.
Pieter Van Hees, who previously was attached to direct, exited for scheduling reasons. Macneill made his feature film directorial debut was The Boy, which premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and was released by Chiller. He also is directing the series SyFy’s Channel Zero: Candle Cove, as well as the remainder of the first season. Macneill is repped by WME and Gotham Group.
“Craig has the perfect vision for the film that is centered around the complicated relationship between two powerful women,” said The Solution’s Myles Nestel. “He knows how to unravel the many psychological layers and seemingly fragile character of the infamous Lizzie Borden who is driven to commit a hideous murder.”
“She cut that Chanel T-shirt herself. It was her idea,” Pica said of the white-on-white skirt-and-shirt ensemble Stewart wore to a photo call for Allen’s new movie, in which she costars with Blake Lively and Jesse Eisenberg. (True to form, Stewart removed her black-and-white pumps promptly after it was over.)
“I think the way Kristen approaches glamour and being a movie star is really refreshing,” Pica added hours later while prepping Stewart for the film’s evening premiere. The actress, too, was uncharacteristically excited. “I really love this particular red carpet,” Stewart said as Abergel texturized her newly peroxided cropped hair before fashioning it into a deep side part. “I know that sounds obvious, but I don’t get that impending doom feeling in my gut. I’m really elated to be here—and we all want to annihilate this look.” Mission accomplished. Here, Stewart, Abergel, and Pica break down Stewart’s one part Old Hollywood, one part “Gwen Stefani in the ’90s” beauty moment, live from Cannes.