Jason Priestley Will Star in New Lifetime Movies Based on V.C. Andrews Books
90210 alum Jason Priestley is set to star in and direct several upcoming Lifetime movies based on the Casteel Family series of novels. The network has already completed production on Heaven, the first movie in the series, and is beginning work on four more films.
Which V.C. Andrews books are coming to Lifetime?
The upcoming movies are based on the five novels in the Casteel series: Heaven, Dark Angel, Fallen Hearts, Gates of Paradise, and Web of Dreams. The first two books are the last ones that Andrews completed before she died in 1986. The other three were either partly or entirely written by a ghostwriter hired to complete the series after she passed away.
The movies will follow the exploits of the Casteel family, “the least regarded of all the families living in the poverty-stricke foothills of the mountains of West Virginia,” according to a description from Lifetime. Oldest daughter Heaven’s life is changed forever when her father sells her and her four siblings to different families. The movies will chronicle the turbulent existence of Heaven and her family over several generations.
What role will Priestley play?
Priestley will play Heaven’s wealthy Boston grandfather Tony Tatterton in Dark Angel, Fallen Hearts, and Gates of Paradise. He’ll also direct Fallen Hearts.
Annalise Basso (Captain Fantastic) will play Heaven in the first three movies in the series. Other actors who will appear include Dexter’s Julie Benz, Chris William Martin from The Vampire Diaries, Kelley Rutherford from Gossip Girl, and Daphne Zuniga from Melrose Place.
When will the movies air?
Lifetime hasn’t announced a premiere date for the movies, but according to the trailer, Heaven will air sometime in the summer of 2019. The other movies should follow shortly after. In a post on Facebook, Andrews’ ghostwriter Andrew Niederman revealed that the movies will air as part of a “major five-week event.”
Will there be more V.C. Andrews adaptations from Lifetime?
Lifetime has already adapted several of Andrews’s gothic family sagas for the small screen. A 2014 version of the author’s breakthrough first novel Flowers in the Attic starred Heather Graham, Kiernan Shipka, and Ellen Burstyn. It was followed by three sequels based on the other novels in the series: Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday. In 2016, the network aired an adaptation of Andrew’s only standalone novel, My Sweet Audrina.
While Andrews only completed seven novels in her lifetime, dozens of books under her name have been released since her death, giving Lifetime plenty of material to work with. Overall, more than 70 novels have been published under the V.C. Andrews name, and collectively they have sold over 106 million copies, according to publisher Simon & Schuster.
Lifetime is increasing the number of original movies it broadcasts in 2019, according to a report from Deadline. The network plans 75 new films for the year as it refocuses on the kind original movies that it initially became famous for. Other upcoming films include I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story, and Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!