IF ANYONE HAS HEARD ANYTHING DEFINITIVE ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT SINCE MID-MARCH I WOULD APPRECIATE YOU CONTACTING ME.
Cut & paste this link in your browser to see Lizzie Borden B&B manager Lee-ann Wilber interviewed on the HBO mini-series project.
According to the internet, there’s a big buzz around Hollywood on Chloe Sevigny’s project to do a 2-part, 4 hour, mini-series on HBO about our beloved and inscrutable Lizzie Borden. The project has been approved “for development” and Miss Sevigny is garnering lots of ink lately. Below are some recent sample articles:
I posted about this before HERE.
Although it’s still “in development” rather than “pre-production” the fact that Tom Hanks is involved has me greatly encouraged this project will go thru all phases and become a reality. Imagine: 4 hours of professional film making of Lizzie Borden on HBO. Not since Paramount Pictures did their made-for-tv 1975 “The Legend of Lizzie Borden” starring Elizabeth Montgomery have we been treated to such a production. And that film was less than 2 hours.
Now, here’s the thing for consideration: In the next few months we will see the long awaited birth of the Fall River Historical Society’s much anticipated mega-work – “Parallel Lives – A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River”. This monumental work – over 1,000 pages and over 500 photographs (many of Lizzie hereself never published anywhere before) – is destined to become the “go to” book for Lizzie and her times. More importantly, it promises to give new insight into just who Lizzie was and how she was perceived by those contemporaries who knew her best. It promises to show us a side of Lizzie seldom addressed nor revealed. This book will most likely shatter all pre-conceived notions about Lizzie and certainly make us view her far differently than we ever have.
HBO’s production, if it comes to fruition, will most likely be aired the end of this year or early 2012. The fact that it is in development now – with the script being written – it can not possibly incorporate or take into consideration the new information contained in Parallel Lives. So I have to ask: Would this mean that HBO’s production would be lacking important facts and, thus wrongly influence Chloe’s portrayal of her? Will the new information revealed in Parallel Lives regarding Lizzie’s character be important for any future portrayals of her?
When it does air on television, all the book reviews and online articles about Parallel Lives will have already been “out there” influencing the public’s view of Lizzie. That influence may not be compatible let alone accepted by the way she may be presented in the HBO production. Although the script will most certainly deal with the crime itself, Parallel Lives does not. Will the new information about Lizzie revealed in the book cause such a significant shift of perception that any future portrayals must take that shift into account?
Hopefully, Ms. Sevigny will visit the FRHS where Curator Michael Martins and Assistant Curator Dennis Binette, authors of Parallel Lives, would graciously expose her to pertinent content and photos not yet published but that will be prior to any HBO release of Chloe’s project. It would be wonderful if this HBO project would incorporate some of that new information, ensuring us that we will be viewing a 4 hour production based on that “other side” of Lizzie Borden. It would be wonderful to know that the talented Chloe Sevigny researched the new information and subsequently let it influence the “choices” she took in her portrayal of Lizzie Borden. Good acting is about good choices when the camera is rolling. Actors know that. I’m hoping Chloe Sevigny will go to Fall River soon, talk to Michael and Dennis, and learn about that other side of Lizzie Borden. It’s her choice. And it would be a very good one.