Mckenna Grace And Ross Burge On Their Inspiration For The Bad Seed Returns - Exclusive

When we last left Emma in "The Bad Seed," she was whisked away to live with the only living relative she had left: her Aunt Angela. Now, with no one around realizing she's a killer, fans were left wondering what Emma would be up to next. Luckily for them, they can all find out in the sequel "The Bad Seed Returns."


It turns out that a lot has happened since 9-year-old Emma had that major altercation with her father. Today, she's 15 years old, and her world is beginning to turn upside down once again when a girl at school threatens her chances of becoming captain of the dance team. In true Emma fashion, she decides to threaten her right back. "It goes from there," writer Ross Burge told The List. "You're stacking up dominoes to fall."

In an exclusive interview with The List, Burge and lead actress Mckenna Grace shared exactly what inspired them to write a sequel to the classic cult film.

Why they started writing a sequel

While Mckenna Grace was busy working on "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," "The Bad Seed" producer Mark Wolper mentioned that he was interested in exploring a sequel to the original film. "At that time, she was tied up, and it was like, 'Well, there's no script or anything like that, so we're here, but we just don't have time,'" writer Ross Burge (who also happens to be her father) explained.


It wasn't until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020 that he and Grace found themselves stuck at home with nothing to do. With the help of YouTube and some formatting software, the two decided to take a stab (pun intended) at writing their very first script together. "We just wrote a second 'Bad Seed' and only told them about it once we had finished the script and sent it to them with a full lookbook and a pitch and everything," Grace told us — which shocked the entire development team.

Here's how they came up with the idea

When Mckenna Grace and Ross Burge first sat down to write the script, there was a reason they decided to fast forward a few years for a sequel. "It was like, 'Okay, so the first one ended how? Now she's with Aunt Angela. Where can we go from there?'" Burge explained. "'What situations can you put her in where Emma has to be Emma?'"


It turns out that Emma is in tune with her violent instincts only when she feels threatened — and who doesn't feel threatened by high school? "It was really fun to be able to explore her as [a] teenager in this new social environment and how she would navigate the clichés," Grace told us.

In addition to that, Emma is also dealing with her Aunt Angela's newfound love (her husband Robert) and their baby boy that Emma now has to share the spotlight with. "We pick back up whenever that happens, whenever the new problems are introduced into her life," Grace explained, "and see how she deals with that as a teenager all these years later."

As fans of the first film know so well, Emma likes to be number one in every aspect of life. With all of these changes happening around her, viewers can expect to be in for another killer good time.


"The Bad Seed Returns" premiered Labor Day (Monday, September 5) at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CT) on Lifetime.