EXCLUSIVE: Rob Lowe is set to direct and star in a remake of the classic 1956 Oscar-nominated thriller The Bad Seed for Lifetime. The project is currently in negotiations with Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the title.
Lowe will play the father of a young daughter who is the personification of evil. The parent’s gender is being switched from the ‘56 feature version, where it was played by Nancy Kelly, as well as from the book and play the movie was based on. Kelly received an Oscar nomination, as did Patty McCormack for her role as the young daughter.
The reimagining of the cult 1956 psychological horror film is penned by Barbara Marshall (Wish Upon) based on a best-selling novel by William March that was adapted to a long-running Broadway play. Lowe will star as a father who seems to have everything under control. But when a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved girl. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and whether she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.
Lowe, The Wolper Organization’s Mark Wolper (Bates Motel, Roots) and Elizabeth Stephen executive produce. Preliminary casting is underway with production eying an early 2018 start.
Lifetime and Wolper a couple of years ago developed a more conventional Bad Seed TV movie remake — also penned by Marshall — which centered on a working mom. It didn’t go beyond the script stage. ABC previously made the title into a TV movie in 1985 with Blair Brown as the mother. The feature Bad Seed adaptation, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, received four Oscar nominations overall. It tells the story of a mother’s (Kelly) realization that her young daughter (McCormack) has committed a murder, or two.
The West Wing alum Lowe wrote and directed the 1997 Showtime film The Desert’s Edge. He has been starring on the CBS medical drama Code Black and recurring on Fox’s space dramedy The Orville. Lowe also stars in and executive produces The Lowe Files reality series for A&E.