EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has lined up the next movie in its Ripped from the Headlines franchise, Girl in the Basement. The film, inspired by actual events of a young woman imprisoned in her family home, stars Stefanie Scott (Insidious: The Last Key), Judd Nelson (St. Elmo’s Fire) and Joely Fisher (9-1-1).
Elisabeth Rohm, who headlined Lifetime’s 2019 movie Family Pictures, is making her directorial debut with Girl in the Basement as part of the network’s Broader Focus initiative. Manu Boyer, who directed Rohm in Family Pictures, will guide Rohm through her first steps as a director. Rohm will also make a cameo in the movie, produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Swirl for Lifetime, which has started filming in Atlanta for a 2021 debut. (You can see a photo from the set above.)
“We believe in Elisabeth and know her craft as an actress will be invaluable as she steps behind the camera to direct,” said Tanya Lopez, EVP Movies, Limited Series and Original Movie Acquisitions, Lifetime & LMN. “Elisabeth’s passion and commitment will bring out incredible performances from Stefanie, Judd and Joely for this extremely shocking story.”
Inspired by actual events, Girl in the Basement tells the horrific story of Sara (Scott), a vibrant teen girl who was looking forward to her 18th birthday so she could move away from her controlling father Don (Nelson). But before she could even blow out the candles, her world became extremely dark after Don imprisons her in the basement of their home. While Don tries to convince wife Irene (Fisher) that Sara ran away, he would secretly visit her in the basement to torture and rape her while Irene and her sister Amy (Emily Topper) continued living upstairs. As the years pass, Sara gives birth to several children, alone in the basement. Don eventually brings up their youngest son, leaving him on the doorstep for Irene to find with a note from Sara saying that was her son and she couldn’t care for him, leaving Irene to finally accept Don’s claims about Sara. After decades of captivity, Sara finally escapes, and her family learns the devastating truth about what had been going on for over 20 years right beneath their feet.
Leslie Greif, Boyer and Barbara Marshall, who also wrote the script, executive produce. Producers are Eric Tomosunas, Alex Kerr and Ron Robinson. Jessica Bahowick is co-producer.
The network’s 2020 Ripped from the Headlines slate of Stolen By My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story, Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, Poisoned Love: The Stacey Castor Story, Neighbor in the Window, and You Can’t Take My Daughter reached more than 25 million viewers total viewers, from January-April on Lifetime & LMN. Lifetime also recently announced a development deal with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos for two Ripped from the Headlines movies.
Scott is repped by Gersh, More/Medavoy Mgmt, and Sloane Offer. Fisher is repped by Defining Artists and D2 Management. Nelson is repped by Defining Artists and manager Jeff Goldberg. Rohm is repped by Buchwald and manager Matt Luber.