Considering her fantastic performances in Mad Men and her status as young Hollywood's most promising up-and-comer, it's no surprise that Kiernan Shipka is branching out to the movies. Last year, she had a small part in the indie drama Very Good Girls, and in January, she starred in the Lifetime remake of Flowers in the Attic. On Thursday, it was announced that the 14-year-old actress was branching out even more; alongside Emma Roberts, Shipka will star in February, the biggest role the Mad Men star has had outside of her Emmy-winning show.
And it's also the most different. February, directed by Osgood Perkins, is a horror film about a haunted boarding school. Shipka and Roberts will play classmates who, after their parents fail to pick them for winter break, become the victims of a a dead woman's terrifying rampage.
Yet while the film's tone may be as unlike Mad Men as possible, the plot is actually eerily reminiscent. Kiernan Shipka playing a teenage girl? Check. Who goes to boarding school? Check. With unreliable parents? Check. Who's scared of/fascinated by a woman named Joan?! Check. Really, February could just be retitled Mad Men: the horror movie edition.
And oh, what a movie that would be. Mad Men as a terrifying, ghost-ridden horror film could get serious money out of me, and I expect plenty of fans would say the same. Just imagine: Don Draper, literally haunted by the ghost of Dick Whitman. SCDP, a dangerous maze of death and distress once the lights go down. Another Roger Sterling LSD trip, but this time, gone horribly, terrifyingly wrong. And, of course, this evil version of Joan described in February, the dark side of a woman Mad Men viewers thought they knew so well.
Unfortunately, February is probably the closest fans of the show are ever going to get to seeing a horror-filled Mad Men become a reality. Still, we can hope; perhaps Shipka will be so intrigued by her new, scary role that she'll bring some ideas back to the writers' room, and when Mad Men: the movie eventually comes our way, the world of Don Draper and co. will look a whole lot different.