Rob Lowe has signed on to direct and star in a gender-swapped remake of the creepy 1956 horror classic The Bad Seed, for Lifetime. That may seem like an odd move for Lowe to make on the surface, but it will simply continue a career that’s already been rather eclectic. Lowe has never been shy about switching between comedic and dramatic roles, and has also spent some time in the horror realm on occasion.
The seemingly ageless Lowe of course first became a star in the 80s, as part of the “Brat Pack,” appearing in films like The Outsiders and St. Elmo’s Fire. In the 90s, Lowe spent some time playing smarmy villains, including in Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. His best known forays into horror are two Stephen King TV miniseries projects, 1994’s The Stand, and 2004’s Salem’s Lot. Lowe played hero with a heart of gold Nick Andros in the former, and tortured writer protagonist Ben Mears in the latter.
Now, Deadline reports that Lowe is set to direct and star in Lifetime’s Bad Seed remake. The titular terrifying child will remain a young girl, but in a slight gender-swap, Lowe will play the parent faced with the choice to either protect his evil daughter or bring a stop to her reign of terror. In both the original Bad Seed film – as well as the 1954 book it was based on – said conflicted parent was the girl’s mom, played in the movie by Nancy Kelly. The role earned Kelly an Oscar nomination.
While the basic premise of The Bad Seed is being kept intact for the remake – parent must decide how to deal with their murderous daughter – the little girl will no longer be named Rhoda, and will instead be named Emma. It’s unclear why this change was made, other than possibly to give the title character a more common name. Also unclear is how the absence of Emma’s mother will be explained this time. In the original, Rhoda’s father was out of the picture for most of the story due to serving in the military. Lifetime could certainly use that same reason to explain Emma’s mother being gone, or could also easily solve the problem by revealing that her mom died prior to the film.
Rob Lowe’s Bad Seed remake is set to begin production in early 2018, and casting for the other roles is currently underway. This actually won’t be the first time The Bad Seed has been remade for TV, as ABC produced a critically-panned version in 1985. Lifetime also previously tried to get a remake off the ground in 2015, but progress stalled, and the new version will be working from a different script.
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