One of the creepiest classic thrillers of all time is getting a remake courtesy of Rob Lowe and Lifetime. Lowe is preparing to executive produce, direct and star in a new version of ‘The Bad Seed’. Warner Brothers owns the rights to the original and negotiations are under way to bring this reboot to life.
Patty McCormack starred in the 1956 original, as Rhoda Penmark, a seemingly perfect eight-year-old who turns out to be a cold-hearted killer, systematically wiping out those that cross her. In the original, Rhoda was in the care of her mother, Christine (Nancy Kelly), while her father was away serving in the military. In Lowe’s version, the parent role will be switched, with him playing the father that must determine whether his young moppet is secretly murdering those around her. The daughter’s name will be updated to Emma instead of Rhoda. Barbara Marshall is penning the script to the remake.
William March wrote the original novel ‘The Bad Seed’, which was then adapted into a long-running stage play by Maxwell Anderson. Mervyn LeRoy directed the 1956 film, for which Kelly and McCormack were both nominated for Academy Awards, as was Eileen Heckart, who played the mother of one of Rhoda’s first victims. Because of the times, in the film version, Rhoda is rather anticlimactically killed by a random bolt of lightning, while Christine lives, but in the novel the situation is reversed with Christine dying and Rhoda surviving.
In 1995, McCormack starred in the thriller ‘Mommy’ as a murderous mother. Though it wasn’t an official sequel, it is often viewed by fans as such.
‘Bates Motel”s Mark Wolper is also executive producing. He previously worked with Lifetime on another remake of ‘The Bad Seed’ with a female lead, like the original, but that version never came to fruition.
Lowe currently stars on the CBS medical drama ‘Code Black’ and can be heard as the voice of Simba on Disney’s ‘The Lion Guard’. He also pops up in a recurring role on FOX’s ‘The Orville’.