Lifetime have finally revealed the long awaited trailer for the adaptation of V C A s beloved Heaven, the first of the Casteel saga that’s being made into movies for the forthcoming year and the fandom have reacted in a not so unsurprising way – once they d gotten over their initial shock.
According to deadline.com
Heaven introduces the infamous Casteel family, the least regarded of all the families living in the poverty-stricken foothills of the mountains of West Virginia. Yet the eldest daughter, Heaven Leigh Casteel (Basso), was still the smartest girl in the backwoods and determined to redeem her family name. However, her dreams become deferred the day her stepmother flees and her selfish father Luke (Martin) sells her and her four siblings to different families. Heaven is sent to live in the home of Luke’s deranged ex-lover, Kitty (Benz), who torments Heaven as Kitty’s husband, Cal (McNally) lures Heaven into a forbidden relationship while she fights to reunite her siblings.
So far, so familiar – however, the sexed up trailer leads us to believe it’s being portrayed and marketed as something quite different to the book that is many readers favourite.
Yes, it’s exciting, yes it’s haunting and quite eerie ( a pre requisite for anything V C A ) but it also seems to grossly misrepresent the situation Heaven finds herself in once in the home of the Dennison s.
What is a story of emotional and psychical abuse from Kitty that feeds the grooming and sexual abuse of Heaven by Cal is turned into a Lolita type plotline of a teenage Heaven being fostered by a couple, having an affair with the husband and sending the wife crazy . Whilst this is typically lifetime , whose adaptions of the Dollanganger saga and My Sweet Audrina also failed spectacularly to hit the mark – or the actual plot.
It makes you wonder if scriptwriter Scarlett Lacey has ever picked up a V C Andrews book her entire life, let alone the director and sometimes even the cast.
The casting of Heaven is absolutely atrocious – with the exemption of Julie Benz as Kitty , who by the scenes we see in the trailer looks like she’s killing the role.
The lead role of Heaven has a redhead which totally makes no sense when you know the next book in the series is Dark Angel – Heavens dark Casteel hair is an important and integral part of the plot of the first two books. To ignore such a factor is ignorance at best.
In fact it is the key seemingly minor characters details that lifetime ignore that actually tell us so much about the characters and plot – for example lifetimes version of Kitty is blonde and there’s no hint of fiery red hair, pink velour tracksuit nor red nails in sight much to my personal lament.
Further casting for the movies also prove my point in case which I will discuss at a later point. I feel far too let down right now to tackle such an issue.
As a fan , yes I’m glad the books are finally getting the attention they deserve and hope that people will enjoy the movies enough that they are inspired to pick up the original book and discover for themselves the sheer genuis of Andrews.
However, I wouldn’t be much of a fan if I didn’t say I think these adaptation s are doing nothing for the legacy and I feel Virginia, the fandom and the books deserve so so much better.