Mckenna Grace To Star In The Bad Seed Sequel (Which She Co-Wrote With Her Dad)

"The Bad Seed," the 2018 Lifetime remake of the '56 stage play adaptation of March's book (whew!) is getting a sequel, and Grace will be returning in the title role of Emma Grossman (an update to Rhoda Penmark of LeRoy's big-screen adaptation). According to Deadline, Mckenna Grace (Annabelle Comes Home, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) co-wrote the script with her father, Ross Burge, and the 2018 film's writer, "Wish Upon" screenwriter Barbara Marshall. Louise Archambault ("Catastrophe") is attached to direct. Grace also executive produces the film along with her parents, Crystal and Ross Burge, as well as "The Bad Seed" (2018) executive producer Mark Wolper.

The synopsis, as Deadline reports:

15-year-old Emma, a seemingly typical teenaged girl who is anything but that. Set several years after the murderous events of the first movie, which left her father (Lowe) dead, Emma is now living with her aunt Angela and navigating high school. Angela's husband begins to suspect that Emma may not be as innocent as she appears and suggests sending her off to boarding school. Meanwhile, a new girl at school seems to know Emma's secrets, leaving Emma no choice but to slip back to her old ways and take care of her enemies by any means necessary.

Censorship Kills Cinema

Let's start at the beginning, here. 

First, there was the book. William March's 1954 American novel "The Bad Seed" focuses on a mother's realization that her little girl is a cold-blooded killer — sort of the opposite of Lynne Ramsey's "We Need To Talk About Kevin." The book then became a stage play by Maxwell Anderson, and then John Lee Mahin adapted the play into a 1956 film. This film, directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Nancy Kelly and Patty McCormack, is the one most folks have seen. 

A made-for-tv remake, directed by Paul Wendkos, aired on ABC in 1985. In 2018, a Lifetime remake dropped, directed by Rob Lowe ("Parks & Recreation") and starring Mckenna Grace ("Ghostbusters: Afterlife") and Lowe. And this is where we are today.

The 1956 version enjoys a strong spot in the horror fandom consciousness, despite its wonky ending. Both March's novel and the stage play end with the death of Rhoda's mother, Christine, and she cunningly survives to terrorize another day. The Motion Picture Production Code had beef with this, as they decreed that crime must always be punished and the bad guys can't get away with it, otherwise, it's some kind of endorsement of their behavior (one glance at social media reviews of any horror movie, and some things never change, do they?). To appease censors, the ending was changed to Rhoda literally being struck by lightning. It marred an otherwise amazing film, but the 2018 remake course-corrected the ending, allowing young Emma to live another day. Over here, we're excited to see if they go the extra step and anger the television powers-that-be.

"The Bad Seed" sequel will premiere on Lifetime in 2022.