A new teaser for Paramount Network's TV reboot of the 1980s dark high school comedy Heathers has debuted online. Planned as an anthology series that follows a different cast of characters each season, Heathers was ordered to series on TV Land back in January but has been moved over to Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) as it gets set to re-launch in 2018.
The original Heathers starred Winona Ryder as a high school girl who tried to escape a clique of evil cool kids by teaming up with a homicidal rebel played by Christian Slater. The movie was the last word in hip, ironic black high school comedy in 1988, and among other things helped launch Slater on a brief run as Hollywood's coolest, most Nicholson-esque young brooding leading man.
"The killer cult classic is back" promises the new Heathers teaser posted on Instagram (see the video below), but this Heathers is not exactly the one you remember. The new Veronica (Grace Victoria Cox) learns from a breathless friend that Heather Chandler is looking for her, and we see a classic "cool kids strolling up the hallway" shot. In the 2018 version of Heathers, the "cool kids" are not a trio of cookie-cutter upper-class white girls who look like they walked right out of the latest issue of Teen.
The twist in the new incarnation of Heathers is that the cool kids are a gender-queer male whose real name is "Heath" (Brendan Scannell), a black lesbian (Jasmine Mathews) and an overweight girl (Melanie Field). The tone is expected to remain very dark as the teaser promises with a shot of an apparently suicidal teen (teen suicide was one of the hot-button topics picked up by the original film as well) falling to their death in front of an unimpressed group of football players. The teaser also features a callback to one of the original film's signature pieces of profanity, involving a chainsaw.
The new incarnation of Christian Slater's J.D. will be played by James Scully. Original Heathers star Shannen Doherty is set to appear in a guest role, and Selma Blair also has jumped aboard for a recurring role as Heath/Heather Duke's cigarette-smoking stepmom Jade.
With its very dry, very black take on familiar high school movie tropes and themes of conformity vs. rebellion, the original Heathers served as the bleak flip-side of the relatively sunny, slightly uncool John Hughes view of the world. The new Heathers looks like it will try to tap into the same subversive, darkly comic vein that made the original Heathers such a memorable film.
Heathers premieres in 2018.
Source: Paramount Network
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