Chloe Sevigny has been showing us her sisterwife side on Big Love for almost five years, but as the show reaches its end, the actress is moving onto other projects. She’s not going far though. Playtone, Tom Hanks’ and Gary Goetzman’s production company that produces Big Love is also putting together a four-hour miniseries for HBO that follows the life of Lizzie Borden with Sevigny as the lead.
In 1892, at age 32 “spinster” Borden was the subject of jump-rope rhymes and she was accused of the murder of both her father and step-mother, but it wasn’t just any murder. She was supposed to have chopped them up with a hatchet, hence the rhyme: Lizzie Borden took an axe/ And gave her mother forty whacks/ When she saw what she had done/ She gave her father forty-one. In 1893, she was acquitted but no other folks were accused or brought to trial and the murder remains unsolved until this day. Obviously, with the publicity around the case and the fact that no one else was ever accused, Borden faced some serious ire from the general public post-trial.
So now, HBO looks to give Lizzie a voice, courtesy of Sevigny’s husky tone. Sevigny has been the one moving the project forward, setting herself up as Lizzie and preparing to co-executive produce with the help of Playtone productions. While all the financial backers seem to be lined up, production is far from ready to start; the script is still in the midst of the writing stage and it’s no wonder. Telling the unsolved mystery of a spinster-could-be-cold-blooded-killer (which we’re not sure about because she’s now dead and it happened over a hundred years ago) from the accused woman’s perspective could be sort of a difficult task.