Anne Heche’s next film – an intense one – is ready to air on Sept. 17.
An Aug. 5 crash left Heche (shown here) in a coma and she was later pronounced dead. She’d already finished “Girl in Room 13,” which has been edited and is ready to go. “She did a phenomenal job,” said director Elizabeth Rohm.
Heche plays the mother of a young woman (Larissa Dias) who has disappeared. It’s a fictional story, done with Polaris, which tracks human trafficking.
That’s part of a flurry of movies Lifetime and the Lifetime Movie Network discussed today (Aug. 11) with the Television Critics Association. They include:
— Sept. 5: “The Bad Seed Returns.” McKenna Grace, now 16, starred in the reboot of the “Bad Seed” movie, then wrote the sequel with her dad, Dr. Ross Burge, an orthopedic surgeon. Since she was little, he said, they’ve watched some horror films. “I’m a very energetic and fun person, (but) dark stories attract me,” said Grace, whose recurring roles range from “Young Sheldon” to “Handmaid’s Tale.”
— Sept. 17: “Girl in Room 13,” focusing on a global crisis. Human trafficking – for sex or for labor – has 25 million victims worldwide, Rohm said.
— Oct. 1: “The Gabby Petito Story,” dramatizing the missing-person story that drew national attention. The network also promised to have several true-crime films about less-famous story.
— Oct. 8: “The Disappearance of Cari Garver,” produced by the husband-wife team of Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.
— Oct. 15: “Let’s Get Physical,” another Ripa/Consuelos production based on a true story. Jenna Dewan plays a fitness instructor and soccer mom who doubled as head of a prostitution ring.
On the true-crime side, the network also plans a six-part documentary series on Gypsy Rose Blanchard, the young woman (portrayed in the mini-series “The Act”) convicted of killing her possessive mother.
On the flip side, it will have its usual flood of Christmas movies. “Reindeer Games Homecoming” is produced, written and stars Sara Drew; “Santa Bootcamp” has Melissa Joan Hart directing Rita Moreno, a role originally set for the late Betty White.
And shortly after Christmas, it has “Hammer,” a fun film that may lead to more. Reba McEntire plays a real-life Nevada judge who has covered three farflung courthouses.
She brings an assertive style that McEntire said fits neatly. “In real life, I’m bossy. I can be a judge and be really bossy.”