The new 'Cruel Intentions' series will star Sarah Catherine Hook, Zac Burgess, Savannah Lee Smith, Sara Silva, Khobe Clarke, John Harlan Kim, Brooke Lena Johnson and Sean Patrick Thomas
The wait is finally over for Cruel Intentions fans!
On Monday, Amazon announced an eight-episode series order for a television series of the same name inspired by the 1999 film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair.
Taking place at an elite college in Washington, D.C., the drama series — from writers and executive producers Sara Goodman and Phoebe Fisher — will chronicle “two ruthless step-siblings" who "will do anything to stay on top of the cutthroat social hierarchy. After a brutal hazing incident threatens the entire Panhellenic system at their school, they’ll do whatever is necessary to preserve their power and reputation, even if that means seducing the daughter of the vice president of the United States,” according to the streamer.
Sarah Catherine Hook (First Kill), Zac Burgess (Totally Completely Fine), Savannah Lee Smith (Gossip Girl), Sara Silva (American Horror Stories), Khobe Clarke (Firefly Lane, Yellowjackets), John Harlan Kim (The Last Thing He Told Me, 9-1-1), Brooke Lena Johnson (You) and Sean Patrick Thomas (Till) are set to star in the series with Claire Forlani, Nikki Crawford, Isabella Tagliati, Zeke Goodman and Jon Tenney having recurring roles.
“From the ‘90s cult-classic film to the 18th-century novel from which it was adapted, Cruel Intentions has captivated audiences with a story that transcends time,” said Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD originals, unscripted, and targeted programming at Amazon MGM Studios. “We are beyond thrilled to share the next chapter of Cruel Intentions’ intriguing interplay of deception, wit, and reckoning with Prime customers and couldn’t be more appreciative of the commitment, dedication, and talent from this entire team - our incredible cast, endlessly clever writers, led by Phoebe and Sara, our fantastic partners at Sony and Original Film, and the executives that led the way at Amazon MGM Studios.”
Executive producers Goodman and Fisher added: “We are so excited to get to work together to continue the legacy of Cruel Intentions, a film that remains beloved by so many—including us! We promise to make this next iteration as fun, irreverent, and boundary-pushing as the original, and are grateful to our partners at Original Film, Sony, and Amazon MGM Studios for trusting us to keep it Cruel.”
News of the Prime Video series order comes after the show was initially developed for Amazon's free streaming service, Freevee, in 2021. It will now premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.
The 1999 film Cruel Intentions told the story of Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) and Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), two scheming step-siblings who use their classmates as pawns in their sadistic sexual games with one another — most notably Cecile Caldwell (Blair) and Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon).
This isn't the first time Cruel Intentions almost returned. A reboot of the original film was initially expected on NBC in 2016 — and would have starred Gellar again as Kathryn. However, the sequel series was ultimately scrapped.
Gellar previously argued that a sequel to the film would be better housed on a streaming service — not on NBC as originally planned. "Nothing against NBC, but Cruel Intentions is straight streaming," Gellar told the New York Times. "On the first day, I was like, 'This isn't working.' It's just not a network show. And if it is a network show, it's not my Cruel Intentions. So, I was actually grateful."
Another failed effort included Cruel Intentions 2, which was initially imagined to be a prequel series in 2000 starring Amy Adams but was instead released as direct-to-video in March 2001.
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Cruel Intentions 3, which had little relation to the previous films in the series, was also released as direct-to-video in 2004. Most recently, a jukebox musical adaptation of the 1999 film — featuring classic pop and rock hits of the 1990s integrated into original storyline — played in Los Angeles before transferring Off-Broadway in November 2017.
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