Lifetime's 'Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?' Vs. The 1996 Movie: How James Franco Is Taking This Story In A Whole New Direction

With a title like Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?, how could I not be intrigued by Lifetime's newest original movie premiering Saturday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ET? Of course, it's not exactly a unique moniker considering the fact that this movie is a remake of sorts of the 1996 TV movie of the same name. Now with James Franco serving as executive producer and the mastermind behind the story of this new film, I wonder how Lifetime's Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? will be different from the original.

Without knowing much about the new movie, it would appear that there is overlap between the 1996 and 2016 versions of the film. For one thing, the original movie's stars Tori Spelling and Ivan Sergei will reunite onscreen in the upcoming project, Vulture first reported in April.

However, that's where the movies' similarities begin and end. In the original, Spelling played a young woman who soon finds out that her seemingly perfect boyfriend is really a psycho killer, played by Sergei. In the upcoming reboot, Spelling will be taking on the role of the mother who suspects that there's something very wrong with her daughter's new love interest. And Sergei will be playing a college professor, who's hopefully not as deranged as his original Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? character was. It's unclear if Spelling and Sergei are playing grown-up versions of their characters from the original movie, although we do know that the name of Spelling's character is different in the two films.

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This updated version of Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is also not so much a remake of the original movie; it's more like a revamp, as much of the media surrounding the film are cleverly referring to it. That's because instead of revolving around a heterosexual couple where the man happens to be a crazed murderer, the retelling focuses on a lesbian couple where one woman is a vampire, Vulture first reported. So be prepared for Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? to up the gore, too.

Though Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? is certainly keeping the camp that made the 1996 original an instant classic, it's employing the style in a very different way. Franco is using the commonly perceived lightness of camp to explore darker and more serious themes of gender, sexuality, feminism, sexual assault, and pop culture, the executive producer explained during a screening of the film in New York earlier this month, as reported by IndieWire. “I thought vampires would be a great screen, or metaphor, or filter, to talk a lot about issues of growing up, identity, all of those things,” he said at the event.

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Screenwriter Amber Coney also said at the screening, “Whatever level you want to take it, whether surface or going into it, seeing the depth of processing identity or feeling like the other, I think it’s really up to the viewer which makes it dynamic in a way for the audience.”

So whether you want to enjoy Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? for how over-the-top it's sure to be or analyze it for its deeper meanings, this update should be just as entertaining as the original, if not more so.

Image: Trae Patton/Lifetime/Sony Pictures Television

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