February 18, 2014 8:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Flowers in the Attic' Sequel to Star 'Once Upon a Time' Actress (Exclusive)
Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic sequel has found its female lead.
Rose McIver has been cast as Cathy Dollanganger in the Petals on the Wind follow-up, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
The New Zealand actress takes over the role from Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka, who played a younger version of Cathy in Flowers in the Attic. Filming is expected to begin soon.
Though V.C. Andrews' 1980 novel Petals on the Wind picks up immediately following the events of Flowers in the Attic, Lifetime's adaptation takes place about 10 years later -- prompting a major recasting for the Dollanganger siblings.
Set in 1971, Petals on the Wind follows the lives of the Dollanganger siblings, now young adults, trying to shake off the legacy of their mother's abuse. Their efforts are marred by lingering guilt and present tragedy. Dogged by disaster, Cathy (McIver) ultimately concocts a scheme to avenge herself on her mother.
Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn, who played matriarch Corrine Dollanganger and grandmother Olivia Foxworth in Flowers in the Attic, are reprising their roles. Mason Dye, who played Christopher, will not return.
Karen Moncrieff will direct the film, which will be executive produced by Richard Arredondo, Kyle Clark, Michele Weiss and Merideth Finn, with Rob Sharenow, Tanya Lopez and Lisa Hamilton-Daly for Lifetime.
At the winter Television Critics Association press tour in January, screenwriter Kayla Alpert called the Petals on the Wind story "a very juicy, compelling revenge drama." And last month, Weiss was hopeful the major players would return, telling THR at the time: "It's hard to say who's available, but I know that they're happy with their cast. I hope we get them again."
Flowers in the Attic told the tale of four Dollanganger siblings who, after the sudden death of their father, are convinced by their mother to stay hidden in the attic of their wealthy grandparents' mansion so she can reclaim the family fortune. Her visits start to diminish when she gets involved with a new lover, and the oldest children look to each other for comfort. It did big business for Lifetime on Jan. 18, attracting 6.1 million viewers and making it basic cable's top-rated TV movie among adults 25-54 since November 2012.
McIver recurred on ABC's Once Upon a Time as Tinker Bell and Showtime's Masters of Sex, and she has appeared in features The Lovely Bones and Brightest Star. She is repped by WME, Australia's Sue Barnett, New Zealand's Johnson and Laird Management and Principato-Young.