Los Angeles – August 3, 2011 -- Accepting a role that may spook even her grandchildren, three-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Diane Ladd will star in the new family-friendly film DEADTIME STORIES for Kids: Grave Secrets. Ladd headlines the film along with Disney star Jennifer Stone (Wizards of Waverly Place, Secondhand Lions).
Based on the popular tween book titles DEADTIME STORIES for Kids, Grave Secrets is the first of an upcoming series of films from filmmaking brothers Scott and David Hillenbrand (National Lampoon's Dorm Daze franchise) and co-producers Mantooth Films.
Cool and creepy, funny and frightening…DEADTIME STORIES for Kids: Grave Secrets will bring the thrills and chills to the screen without violence or gore. The film also sneaks in important life lessons between all the spooky suspense that appeals to the tween audience. Something that was very important to the film’s stars.
"I have 10 grandchildren and I chose this project to leave something wonderful for them,” shared Ladd. “I love the story and the message it sends to children, as well as adults — that you should never judge someone without knowing their story.”
Jennifer Stone added that she was thrilled to be a part of a series that she would have loved to watch growing up. “As a kid, I always enjoyed things that were a little different. This isn’t your typical children’s programming. It’s smart and a little bit eerie, which is right up my alley.”
Also joining the cast that will resurrect the popular 1990s book series for a whole new generation of kids and teens is Ashlee Jones (True Blood and The Bold old and the Beautiful), Christian LeBlanc (The Young and the Restless and As The World Turns), Taylar Hender (Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer) and The Middle’s Devan Leos and Mackenzie Brooke Smith.
Stone’s role of Babysitter serves as the narrator for the film, sharing the story of Amanda Peterson (Hender) who accidentally stumbles upon a tiny grave in her backyard and her quest to uncover the buried secrets. Unfortunately, the scary old lady next door (Ladd) will do anything to keep them that way…
Grave Secrets was adapted for the screen by the DEADTIME STORIES for Kids authors, Annette and Gina Cascone, who are looking forward to seeing their spine tingling storytelling come to life. “The entire cast is pitch perfect,” said the Cascone sisters. In coordination with the films, Tor Books/Starscape (MacMillan Group) will publish the Cascone’s updated book series in hardcover, softcover and digital, beginning with Grave Secrets (the first of six new titles) in January 2012.
A co-production of Hill & Brand Kids and Mantooth Films, Grave Secrets will kick-off with a limited theatrical release before premiering worldwide on television, DVD and new media. Further DEADTIME STORIES for Kids films will follow. The second of the series, “The Witching Game,” is currently in final casting and preproduction.
Full cast list for Grave Secrets includes:
|Diane Ladd (Rambling Rose, Wild at Heart, Enlightened (HBO Oct 2011))||Mrs. Barnes|
|Jennifer Stone (Wizards of Waverly Place, Secondhand Lions)||Babysitter|
|Ashlee Jones (True Blood, Bold and the Beautiful)||Mrs. Peterson|
|Christian LeBlanc (The Young and the Restless, As The World Turns)||Mr. Peterson|
|Taylar Hender (Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer)||Amanda|
|Lauren Perez (Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?)||Laura|
|Michael Andrew Stock (Hopelessly in June, Modern Family)||Jared|
|Devan Leos (The Middle, Life Happens)||Kevin|
|Mackenzie Brooke Smith (Four Christmases, Finding Hope, The Middle)||Anna|
ABOUT HILL & BRAND KIDS
Hill & Brand Kids is the family-friendly entertainment division of Hill & Brand, founded by filmmaker brothers Scott and David Hillenbrand. Specializing in the development and production of film and television, Hill & Brand regularly secures financing, worldwide distribution and manages projects across all genres. The brothers have served as producers and directors on the National Lampoon's Dorm Daze franchise (MGM & Lionsgate), the vampire action comedy Transylmania (SONY), and the Lionsgate sci-fi thriller King Cobra and gamer cult classic Game Box 1.0. Based in Los Angeles, Hill & Brand Kids was launched in 2010, returning the Hillenbrands to their roots in family entertainment. The brothers’ previous experience includes popular kids television shows (live action and animated) such as Sweet Valley High (FOX), Power Rangers (FOX), Spiderman (FOX/Marvel), Pinocchio (HBO), and Space Cats (NBC). Off to a bold start, Hill & Brand Kids has acquired the rights to the book series DEADTIME STORIES for Kids and The Secret Life of Mitch Spinach (in development with KCET).
ABOUT ANNETTE AND GINA CASCONE
As sisters, Annette and Gina share the same last name. As writers, they share the same brain. As children, they found it difficult to share anything at all. The Cascone sisters grew up in New Jersey with their father, a criminal defense attorney, and their mother, who claimed to have ESP. They honed their storytelling skills early on in life, mainly to stay out of trouble. Now, they are telling their crazy stories to anyone who will listen. The stats: Gina is older; Annette is not. Gina is married; Annette should be. Gina has two children; Annette borrowed one. Gina has a granddaughter; Annette has a grandniece. Gina has cats; Annette has dogs. They both have a sister named Elise. www.agcascone.com
ABOUT TOR BOOKS/STARSCAPE
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books. Founded in 1980, Tor annually publishes what is arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. In 2002, Tor launched Starscape, an imprint dedicated to publishing quality science fiction and fantasy for young readers, including books by critically acclaimed and award winning authors such as Cory Doctorow, Orson Scott Card, and David Lubar. Between an extensive hardcover and trade-softcover line, an Orb backlist program, and a stronghold in mass-market paperbacks, books from Tor have won every major award in the SF and fantasy fields, and has been named Best Publisher 24 years in a row in the Locus Poll, the largest consumer poll in SF.