Lifetime Orders Girl in the Basement


Lifetime has greenlit Girl in the Basement, produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Swirl, for the network’s Ripped from the Headlines slate.

Inspired by actual events of a young woman imprisoned in her family home, Girl in the Basement stars Stefanie Scott as Sara Cody, Judd Nelson as her father Don and Joely Fisher as her mother Irene. Elisabeth Röhm is making her directorial debut with this film and will also make a cameo in the movie. Girl in the Basement is slated to premiere on Lifetime in 2021.

In Girl in the Basement, teenager Sara is looking forward to her 18th birthday so she can move away from her controlling father—but ends up imprisoned by him in the basement of their home before she can get away. While Don tries to convince his wife Irene that Sara ran away, he secretly visits her in the basement to torture and rape her. Over the years, Sara gives birth to several children, the youngest of which Don brings upstairs and leaves on the doorstep with a note from Sara saying that it is her son, leading Irene to finally accept Don’s claims about Sara. Sara eventually escapes and her family learns the horrifying truth.

Tanya Lopez, executive VP of movies, limited series and original movie acquisitions for Lifetime and LMN, said: “We believe in Elisabeth and know her craft as an actress will be invaluable as she steps behind the camera to direct. Elisabeth’s passion and commitment will bring out incredible performances from Stefanie, Judd and Joely for this extremely shocking story.”

Röhm said: “I am profoundly impressed with Lifetime for making this brave movie. As I step behind the camera for the first time, I am beyond grateful and indebted to Tanya Lopez for being my champion and making this moment in my life possible. Thanks to Sebastian Dungan who developed the project and believed in the story from the start. I am profoundly grateful to my creative EP Manu Boyer for guiding me as a first-time director and sharing in our third movie collaboration. I am humbled by the support of my Lifetime family for pushing me to this next step in my career.”

Executive producer Manu Boyer added: “I love working with Elisabeth. I loved directing her as an actress and I am very happy to guide her through her first steps as a director and continue this great creative collaboration.”