Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart will help tell the tale of Lizzie Borden.
Pieter Van Hees, who helmed the 2014 film Waste Land, will direct the new untitled psychological thriller about the grisly murders of the Borden family. Bryce Kass will write the script.
Sevigny will play Borden, the strange and fragile woman who was infamously tried and acquitted for murdering her father and stepmother with an ax in 1892. The film will explore the events that led up to that night.
Stewart, who is in early negotiations, will play the Bordens’ live-in maid, Bridget Sullivan. Sullivan was a witness to the family tension, and may have been in the home when the murders were committed. She testified at the trial.
The crime was salacious and notorious for the age, inspiring children’s rhymes such as: “Lizzie Borden took an ax/and gave her mother 40 whacks/when the job was finally done/gave her father 41.” It also spawned many theories about who committed the murders and why; one theory insinuates that Borden and Sullivan were lovers.
Naomi Despres (Kill the Messenger) is producing, while Playtone is executive producing. The Solution is selling the project, which has no start date, at the upcoming American Film Market. WME is repping domestically.
Borden’s tale has been adapted for TV and film, most recently the 2014 TV movie starring Christina Ricci.
Sevigny, who was previously attached to a Lizzie Borden project at HBO, starred on FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum and American Horror Story: Hotel. She won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her work on HBO’s Big Love, and her other credits include Bloodline, Portlandia and the film Electric Slide. She’s repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment.
Since Twilight, Stewart has focused on indie fare, including Equals, the Drake Doremus film that premiered at Venice and then Toronto. Among her other recent credits are American Ultra, Still Alice and Clouds of Sils Maria, for which she received a Cesar award (France’s equivalent for the Oscar). She’s got a slew of projects coming up including a Woody Allen film and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee. She’s repped by Gersh and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
The Wrap : The “Twilight” star would play the Bordens’ live-in maid, Bridget Sullivan, who may have been in love with Lizzie
Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart are in negotiations to star in an untitled indie movie about infamous murderess Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted of killing her parents with an axe in New England in the 1890s, TheWrap has learned.
Pieter Van Hees (“Waste Land”) will direct from a script by Bryan Kass. Naomi Despres (“Kill the Messenger”) is producing the film, which The Solution will begin shopping at the upcoming AFM. WME is handling domestic sales.
Sevigny, who will play Borden, was previously attached to play the character in an HBO miniseries from producer Tom Hanks that never came together.
Stewart will play the Borden’s live-in maid Bridget Sullivan, the only person who was home when the axe murders were committed. One theory exists that Borden and Sullivan were secret lovers, which of course was very taboo in the 1890s.
The film will explore the events that led up to that fateful evening. Borden was tried but not convicted since men didn’t believe a woman capable of such a violent act back in the day, though she spent the rest of her life as a local recluse.
The legend of Lizzie Borden was just told in a recent Lifetime TV movie starring Christina Ricci.
Stewart recently starred in “Still Alice” and “American Ultra,” and will soon be seen in Drake Doremus‘ romantic sci-fi movie “Equals.” She just wrapped “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” for director Ang Lee as well as Woody Allen‘s next film.
Sevigny won a Golden Glove for her work on HBO’s “Big Love” and can currently be seen on FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel.”
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.
Variety : Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny are in early negotiations to star in a drama about Lizzie Borden.
Pieter Van Hees will direct from a screenplay by Bryan Kass.
Sevigny will play Borden, who was acquitted in 1892 for murdering her father and stepmother with an ax. She was set to play the same character in an HBO miniseries from Tom Hanks that never came together.
Borden’s story has already been adapted for TV and film, including Christina Ricci’s 2014 TV movie.