“The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” is a “what if” follow-up to 2014’s “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax,” director Stephen Kay told reporters at Friday’s Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
Last January’s Lifetime TV movie, which grabbed 4.4 million viewers, told the true story of the titular character, a young woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 murders of her father and stepmother — and this series turns her real-life story into historical fiction.
In other words, Borden keeps on killing — history be damned.
“We were trying to make this its own thing,” Kay explained. “The movie was specific to itself, and pretty historically accurate.”
“Same world, different beast,” he summed it up.
Shortly before the TCA panel, Lifetime announced that Kay’s “Lizzie Borden Chronicles” was getting two additional episodes on its order.
On this “version” of the character — her term — lead actress Christina Ricci described her Borden as being “much more self-aware.”
“This is a person who knows what she is doing,” she said, adding: “It’s a good time.”
Later, when prompted, Ricci joked about how they’re just dragging the real-life Borden family name through the mud at this point, adding fake murders to her real ones: “Oh well,” she said with a smile.
Ricci’s playful attitude was echoed several times during the Lifetime panel, with the word “fun” coming up many times from the actors and their director — which was charming to the room full of reporters, given the subject matter.
Also generating laughs was Jonathan Banks of “Breaking Bad” fame, who will appear in one episode of “Borden Chronicles.” On his character, Mr. Flowers, Banks told the media: “He’s really bad, but he’s not bad enough … He’s fun, he’s wonderful — he’s a terrible human being.”
Then he dropped a well-received joke in the form of a question: “Am I allowed to say what happened to him? Because if we do the ‘Call Saul’ panel, I’m not allowed to say anything.”
With the “OK” from Kay, Banks seized the opportunity to drop a slight spoiler: “Mr. Flowers meets a very bloody end,” Banks teased.