During its San Diego Comic-Con @ Home panel, Amazon Studios revealed that it is dusting off the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise that Jennifer Love Hewitt made popular in the 1990s amid a slew of other slasher films inspired by the success of Scream. However, Gizmodo reports that the new series will not be a direct sequel or reboot of the 1997 classic nor its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
For those unfamiliar with the original, Jennifer Love Hewitt starred alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Johnny Galecki in a story about a group of teens who hit a man while joyriding in their car on graduation night in their quiet New England town. Rather than risk their bright futures, they cover up the crime and go off to college until they’re reunited the following summer when someone claiming to know about the crime starts terrorizing them with a vicious murder spree.
According to Deadline, Amazon’s series adaptation of the story, which is actually based on a 1973 novel of the same name, will star Madison Iseman, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck, Brooke Bloom, and Bill Heck. Sonya Balmores and Spencer Sutherland are set to recur. However, it will have some key differences from the Jennifer Love Hewitt-led original. For starters, the New England setting will be ditched for Hawaii.
Changes to the setting likely wouldn’t have gone over well with the author of the original source material, Louis Duncan. Before she died in 2016, Duncan went on record saying that she was not at all happy with the Jennifer Love Hewitt version of her book character nor the adaptation in general. Particularly, she was upset that the film decided to fit itself into the slasher genre. While her original novel was indeed a thriller, The A.V. Club notes that she detested the studio’s decision to dumb it down in order to capitalize on the slasher trend of the 1990s that was based on nostalgia for the 1980s genre. Many speculate that her hatred of the slasher genre was due in no small part to the fact that her daughter, Kaitlyn, was murdered in real-life in a crime that remains unsolved.
It’s unclear given the original scribe’s hatred for the film version if the series will be more faithful to Lois Duncan’s novel, which tells the story of a small town that’s rocked by secrets and lies coming out in the form of a scary whistleblower. Or if it will try to be more faithful to the movie franchise starring scream-queen Jennifer Love Hewitt that made the title famous in the first place.
As Gizmodo notes in its report, judging by the tone of the series’ announcement, the series that drops in October is set to have “lots of blood” making it much more likely that Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Julie James will likely be the one getting the reboot treatment rather than Duncan’s Julie James.