These days, one could be forgiven for believing that everything old is new again. Several years ago, it seemed as though Hollywood was set on remaking every classic (and not so classic) film they could get their hands on. Today, that trend has slowed somewhat and now television is beginning to look like the place where the once forgotten is being revived.
So far we’ve seen the return of 1990s TV programs like The X-Files as well as Full House, but audiences are also being given the opportunity to relive cult films as episodic TV. Evil Dead and Scream are two such examples of successful moves to the small screen - and now an NBC TV adaptation of 1999’s Cruel Intentions is also on its way.
At the time of its release in theaters, Cruel Intentions boasted three of the hottest young actors in Hollywood: Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar. While all three can’t be reunited to star in the TV series, Deadline is now reporting that Sarah Michelle Gellar will appear in the TV show's pilot. Gellar also essentially confirmed the news via her Instagram account (see below):
#throwbackthursday (a bit early in Los Angeles) this picture was taken on the eve of production on the original #cruelintentions. Its me #rogerkumble (director) and #nealmoritz (exec producer) and the other is a picture of us now on the eve of production on the new #cruelintentions. That's right "everybody loves me, and I intend to keep it that way" #kathrynmerteuil is back!!! I am happy to say that I will be joining them (and @nbctv ) on the new #Crueltv
It took a week of negotiations to bring Gellar back into the fold, but her return as the conniving Kathryn Merteuil should please fans of the original film. The series will take place 15 years after the film and follow Merteuil as she deals with the arrival of her late stepbrother Sebastian’s son, Bash Casey (Taylor John Smith) and his mother Annette Hargrove. When Bash discovers his father’s journal and learns the truths of the past, events are set into motion that will surely involve the sort of tangled lies, manipulation and sex that were at the core of the original film. Gellar has been approached for various pilots each season, but since the end of another cult TV hit – Buffy the Vampire Slayer – she has turned everything down save for CBS’s comedy The Crazy Ones, drama Ringer and now NBC’s Cruel Intentions.
While Gellar’s involvement with the Cruel Intentions pilot is a nice addition for fans of both the actress and the original film, the series (if it does in fact, go to series) seems misplaced at a network like NBC. Cruel Intentions is debaucherous and carnal and to downplay those characteristics – as NBC will undoubtedly have to do – will rob whatever strengths this series might have. Imagine if an ultra-violent and wonderfully over the top series like Ash vs The Evil Dead had been picked up by broadcast television rather than cable – would it still be the hit that it currently is? A similar question can be asked of Cruel Intentions.
None the less, Gellar’s TV track record has so far been quite stable. The fact that she’s been selective over the years regarding which projects she decides to take on is a step in the right direction for Cruel Intentions. And if the pilot does go to series, it will likely further open the gates for even more TV adaptations/reboots with their original cast members - which for many, is an exciting prospect.
Screen Rant will bring you more information on NBC's Cruel Intentions as it becomes available.