The story of Lizzie Borden is one of the most grizzly true-to-life tales of all time. It spawned a number of movie and TV adaptations, including the 2014 Lifetime original movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax and the 1975 TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden. Now the story will be retold in an upcoming feature film starring Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to relay the news. Stewart is in early negotiations to play Bridget Sullivan, the Borden’s live-in maid who witnessed the tension among the family. Meanwhile, Sevigny will take the role of Lizzie herself.
Borden was described as a strange woman, who was arrested and tried for murdering her father and stepmother with an ax in 1892. She was acquitted the following year. In addition to her story’s allure for entertainment purposes, the tragedy sparked many theories, including one that said Borden and Sullivan were lovers.
The film will explore the events leading up to this night of terror. It’s believed Sullivan may have been inside the house during the murders, though it’s unclear if this will be incorporated into the story. Pieter Van Hees (Waste Land) will direct the project from a script written by Bryce Kass, who penned the Tony Goldwyn-led TV movie Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs.
Producer Naomi Despres (Kill the Messenger) is on board the project, which will be sold by The Solution at the American Film Market. There’s a lot of material and a lot of different angles to work with in this story, but it’s one that is still captivating even to this day. It’s not surprising to see someone like Sevigny, an American Horror Story veteran, jump at a project like this, while Stewart continues to shed her Twilight-y image and show her true talents with more hard-hitting dramas.