EXCLUSIVE: Two years after the Natalee Holloway telefilm set ratings records for Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime has greenlit a sequel, Justice for Natalee Holloway, and Vanished with Beth Holloway, a 10-episode reality series starring Natalee Holloway’s mom, which examines some of America’s most disturbing unsolved cases. Both have started filming and will air on the flagship Lifetime channel.
Justice for Natalee Holloway picks up several years after the events in the original movie. It chronicles the ongoing mystery of the 2005 disappearance of the Alabama teenager during her senior class trip to Aruba and her suspected killer Joran van der Sloot’s series of conflicting (and so far false) clues about her fate. When van der Sloot demands $250,000 from Beth to reveal the location of Natalee’s remains, she and her attorney John Kelly partner with the FBI to build a case against him. But before they can, van der Sloot is arrested in Peru for the murder of a young woman on the 5th anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance.
Natalee Holloway star Tracy Pollan is set to reprise her role as Beth Holloway in Justice for Natalee Holloway, with Stephen Amell (Vampire Diaries) taking on the role of van der Soot. (The part was played by Jaques Strydom in the first movie). Scott Cohen will play Kelly, with Grant Show, who co-starred in the original as Beth’s husband and Natalee’s stepfather Jug Twitty, making an appearance reprising his role. The producing team behind the original movie: Sony Pictures TV and executive producers Frank von Zerneck and Judith Verno, are back, as is writer Teena Booth. Stephen T. Kay, who helmed Lifetime’s recent movie hit The Craigslist Killer, is on board to direct. Like with the first movie, which was based on Beth Holloway’s book, the sequel is being done with her cooperation. Justice for Natalee Holloway is the latest in a string of Lifetime movies based on high-profile real-life crimes, including last month’s Craiglist Killer and this week’s Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial. In its April 2009 premiere, Natalee Holloway drew 3.2 million viewers, at the time the largest audience in LMN’s 11-year history. Pollan and Cohen are with Gersh; Amell, who was a finalist to replace Andy Whitfield on Starz’s Spatracus, is with SMS and Leverage.
Vanished with Beth Holloway will feature families who’ve been victimized by unspeakable crimes who, left with little hope, turn to Beth Holloway, herself on a quest to uncover the mystery surrounding her daughter Natalee’s disappearance. Each of the 10 episodes will profile real-life mysteries, giving detailed accounts of the events as described by those closest to the victims interviewed by Beth who will offer her insight into each case. Jupiter Entertainment is producing, with Stephen Land (City Confidential) executive producing.