Two years ago, Chloe Sevigny was cast as infamous alleged murderess Lizzie Borden for a HBO mini-series, but we’re still waiting for that to come to fruition. In the meantime, Lifetime is doing its own version of the story, and they’ve cast Christina Ricci in the title role. Lizzie was accused (and eventually acquitted) of killing her parents with an axe while they were sleeping one night in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892.
After the highly-publicized trial, Lizzie went on to have a relationship with actress Nance O’ Neill, and she is often referred to as a lesbian. Love letters she’d written to a female friend were found after her death, and she also was known to have “women’s gatherings” at her home. Plus historians like to point out she did not “enjoy the company of men.” All signs point to lez.
It’s unclear as to what the Lifetime movie will focus on and if it will simply be the murders and the trial, but Christina Ricci is a great choice for the part. From Wednesday Adams to her role in Monster, Christina can do morbid and gay and she can do it well.
There have been a few stage plays about Lizzie and her lesbianism, including Lizzie Borden: A Musical Tragedy in Two Axe, Carolyn Gage‘s Axed!, The Lights are Warm and Colored and Nance O’Neil. There was also a 1975 TV movie called The Legend of Lizzie Borden that won some Emmys and a Golden Globe nomination. The Lifetime movie will be produced by Judith Verno, who also worked on Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret and Drew Peterson: Untouchable, so she knows a thing or two about true crime and making it translate to TV drama. However the 1890s might not be a time period she’s familiar with.
As a lesbian Lifetime movie fan, and a Christina Ricci admirer, I’m pretty psyched about this news. Will you be watching?