Lifetime’s upcoming TV Miniseries has caused much controversy for it’s themes of incest, however despite not even airing yet the network has confirmed a sequel, here are some things you should know about the much–anticipated movie. Warning- some spoilers.
1. It was the first of 5 books in a series called The Dollanganger Series by V. C. Andrews.
V. C. Andrews (Virginia Cleo Andrews) wrote The Obsessed in 1975, however her publisher sent it back telling her to ‘spice it up’. She made the changes in one night, sending it back the next day, and it was confirmed to be published. Eventually it was published in 1979 and was in best seller lists just two weeks after, becoming her most well-known book out of her 20 various series.
2. It was banned from many places.
The book was banned from many schools and libraries on account of themes of incest and sexual activity between the main characters Cathy and Christ who are siblings. The publishers had to deal with an onslaught from christian groups damning them to hell after it’s publication.
3. She spent most of her life in a wheelchair.
When she was a teenager she suffered a horrible accident after falling down some stairs at school causing severe back injuries. The resulting arthritis and failed spinal surgery meant she spent most of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair.
4. It’s loosely based on a true story.
While Andrews was in hospital, according to interviews with her relatives and editor, she developed a crush on her young doctor. One of her relatives confirmed that this doctor and his siblings had been locked away in the attic to protect their family’s wealth. Her editor also confirmed that some aspects were true: “Well, someone told it to her, yes. Some doctor there. So I’d guess that some aspects of it were true—at least the aspect of kids being hidden away.”
5. It’s also inspired by her relationship with her mother- who never read the books.
Her editor calls it an “awful classic” on account of how is resonates with hostages in captivity.“Why is it so good? Because it captures the truth of being a captive. You have to remember, Virginia had been living in captivity for all those years, in her wheelchair, totally under the control of her mother, who she did not have a great relationship with (and who never read the books).”
6. Iran Hostages related to it.
When hostages came back from Iran, in an interview, one of them said that the only book that ‘gets it right’ is Flowers in the Attic. “Virginia was a hostage, as most teenagers feel like hostages to their parents. That’s the power.” Source.
7. Sally from Mad Men plays the title character Cathy.
Kiernan Shipka has shown that she’s wise-beyond-her-years with her acting resume- often stating that Grace Kelly is her muse– especially as the troubled pre-teen on Mad Men, and with the popular series coming to an end in 2015 we will be sure to see more of her as her schedule frees up.
8. And so is Ellen Burstyn
Burstyn said she was so disturbed by the character she played that she had to clear her psyche once it was all over, “I’ve been completely drained by the end of the day,” she says “I’ve been sleeping 11 hours a day. My psyche must be trying to clear it.” Source. We think she should be quite used to disturbing movies by now, after Requiem for a Dream, The Exorcist and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood….and many more.
9. The original 1987 remake was despised by fans of the book.
Fans of the book criticised the movie for cutting major scenes from the book and soft-pedalling the incest. Screenwriter Kayla Alperts (Sweet Valley High, Confessions of a Shopaholic) has assured fans that they were “stick as closely as we could to the original book and we did not shy away from some of the taboo subjects.” Source.
10. Lifetime thinks it’s so good, they’ve already confirmed a sequel.
With the social media keen-ness growing for the remake, Lifetime has confirmed that a sequel is in the works with Alpert writing. Alpert has announced that it will be based on the second book in the series “Petal on the Wind“, “takes place about 10 years after the first movie ends” and is “a very juicy compelling revenge drama.” Source.
Lifetime will air the movie at 8 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2014.
See the trailer below!