The original teenage sleuth is attempting a return to the small screen, as The CW begins development on a new Nancy Drew drama. Fans of the classic book series will no doubt be excited to see how the age-old detective fares in modern times.
Created in the 1930s, the Nancy Drew books follow the story of the title character, an amateur sleuth, placed in a variety of mysterious situations by a multitude of writers, all writing under the pen name Carolyn Keene. Drew would go on to solve mysteries and inspire young women for nearly a century. Despite the evident popularity of the franchise, two Nancy Drew TV series have secured a spot in development hell over the past few years. Both CBS and NBC attempted to get an adaptation off the ground with little success, proving it a difficult endeavor transferring Nancy Drew's adventures to TV. That being said, simultaneous to this new CW venture, a Nancy Drew film is in the works starring IT's Sophia Lillis.
Deadline exclusively revealed the existence of the CW project, which will be headed by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. The duo served as the guiding creative forces behind both The O.C. and Gossip Girl, and their track record looks to be perfect fit for a youth-targeted Nancy Drew series. Hopefully their iteration will fare better than past attempts. Set to follow Drew's life after graduating high school, this version sticks closer to the books, unlike both CBS and NBC's potential shows, which centered on a Nancy firmly into adulthood.
The Sophia Lillis-fronted film version is also following several past attempts to recreate the novels on film. In the 1930s, Warner Brothers produced a series of four B-films starring Glenda Farrell, which portrayed Nancy Drew in a different light - a ditzy girl replaced the well-known, competent detective. In 2007, Jerry Weintraub produced another interpretation, a film that starred future American Horror Story regular Emma Roberts. Those, combined with the two stalled TV adaptation attempts, adds pressure to both the new film and TV series to make things work. Perhaps between the two of them, one will manage to get off the ground successfully.
The current film world, where female protagonists are becoming more commonplace, provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the young heroine who started it all. Far more than the mere female equivalent of the Hardy Boys, this feminist role model deserves to be considered an example for young women of a new generation.