It was announced earlier this year that actress Christina Ricci, no stranger to dark and gothic roles, had been axed to take on the role of accused 19th-century murderer Lizzie Borden in an upcoming original Lifetime movie, and earlier today the network officially announced details about the project — including a premiere date!
According to the press release, Lizzie Borden Took An Ax will premiere Saturday, January 25 at 8/7c on Lifetime. In case you weren’t aware, Lizzie Borden was tried in 1892 for the brutal murder of her father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden, after their bodies were found in their Fall River, Massachusetts home brutally chopped by a small ax. Although Lizzie was acquitted of the crimes in court after a much-publicized trial that garnered national attention, she is still thought of as a brutal ax murderer and has even inspired a rather infamous and frightening children’s rhyme.
Here’s a photo of the actual Lizzie Borden, who decided to remain in her hometown of Fall River after her acquittal, even though she was ostracized throughout the remainder of her life.
And here is the full press release from Lifetime announcing the movie:
LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE “LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK AN AX” TO PREMIERE JANUARY 25
CHRISTINA RICCI KILLS IT IN THE LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE LIZZIE BORDEN TOOK AN AX, PREMIERING JANUARY 25
Based on a True Story, Film Detailing Daughter’s Infamous Murder of Her Parents Also Stars Golden Globe® Nominee Billy Campbell and Screen Actors Guild Winner Clea DuVall
LOS ANGELES, CA – November 18, 2013 – The nursery rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an ax…and gave her mother forty whacks…when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one” has been folklore for generations. But, in fact, it was Lizzie Borden — one of the most legendary figures in American history – who first whetted the public’s voracious interest in scandalous crimes in the 1800s with her own gruesome story involving the brutal murder of her parents. Starring Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award nominee Christina Ricci (Monster), Golden Globe® Nominee Billy Campbell (The Killing) and Screen Actors Guild Award® winner Clea DuVall (Argo), the Lifetime Original Movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax premieres January 25, 2014, at 8pm ET/PT.
On a scorching, hot summer day in 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden (Ricci) returns home to the house she shares with her father Andrew, stepmother Abby and sister Emma (DuVall). But, unlike any normal day, Lizzie encounters the bloody scene of her parents violently murdered. Police quickly question multiple suspects in town, but evidence keeps pointing back to the Borden’s youngest daughter Lizzie, the seemingly wholesome Sunday school teacher, as the Prime Suspect. Lizzie’s lawyer, Andrew Jennings (Campbell), proclaims her innocence arguing that it is inconceivable a woman could commit the heinous crime of brutally murdering her family with an ax. Or is it? Lizzie is put on trial for the murders, both in the courtroom and in the press, sparking a widespread debate about her culpability. As the case rages on, the courtroom proceedings fuel an enormous amount of sensationalized stories and headlines in newspapers throughout the country, forever leaving Lizzie Borden’s name in infamy.
Lizzie Borden Took An Ax is produced by Sony Pictures Television for Lifetime. Judith Verno (Masters of Sex, Drew Peterson: Untouchable) serves as executive producer with Michael Mahoney (The Memory Keeper’s Daughter) producing. Nick Gomez (The Blacklist) directs from a script written by Stephen Kay (The Mod Squad).
UPDATE – Here’s the actual first look at Christina Ricci as Lizzi Borden from Lifetime and Entertainment Weekly:
I’m a sucker for Christina Ricci, a sucker for Lifetime movies, and a sucker for Lizzie Borden adaptations (because you never know if they’re going to portray her as actually innocent or guilty!) so I guess it’s three strikes and I’m out! Out stocking up on popcorn and red wine!