Kevin Williamson’s second greatest teen slasher is receiving the zoomer treatment and original cast member Ryan Phillippe is all for it, the actor confirms in an interview with ComicBook.com’s Patrick Cavanaugh on Monday. Amazon Prime is hopping on the vintage revival bandwagon. They are rebooting the Scream writer’s 1997 movie adaptation of Lois Duncan’s 1973 horror novel I Know What You Did Last Summer, about a spree killer hunting down four teenagers who ran over a pedestrian in a fatal car accident only a year prior.
Most modern-day remakes of popular 80s and 90s films are almost always met with revulsion by both fans and original cast members, but not I Know What You Did Last Summer. While Williamson’s take remains open to debate, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze, Jr. are eager to see the James Wan-led reinterpretation of a feature that practically launched all their careers. That is, at least according to Phillippe, who has been the most vocal about it. The star of ABC’s Big Sky would have preferred to stay involved; alas, the cast list is loaded enough, and writers Shay Hatten and Sara Goodman would rather keep the narrative fresh than bring remnants of the past back together. Regardless, Phillippe would love to sink his hooks into it, whether as an actor or an audience member.
“I’d be open to doing a cameo in something like that,” Ryan Phillippe gushes. “I love the project, and I love the fact that it’s held up over time and it still gets a new audience. Every couple of years, people are discovering it in different ways, and all of us original cast members are very much in support of this Amazon series. I’ve heard the new cast is really great, and I can’t wait to watch it. We’ve contributed a little bit from a publicity standpoint, to support the series. It does make you feel a little bit like a dinosaur, the fact that they’re remaking projects that you were in. It’s like, ‘God, how old am I?’” he adds with a laugh.
James Wan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer will reportedly recontextualize the setting of the beloved slasher for a predominantly Generation Z audience, incorporating elements of social networking, cancel culture, online bullying, and more progressive themes to keep twists running with the times. The narrative will still feature a secluded town in the American South where secrets abound and will reintroduce six adolescents as they revisit the site of a grisly car accident that happened on graduation night. The first four episodes will premiere on October 15, with the rest debuting on a weekly schedule. Since the TV adaptation includes an additional two teenagers, it remains to be seen who will be taking over from Ryan Phillippe as Barry Cox, or if new characters were created for the series altogether.
Following Amazon’s lead is a television retelling of Ryan Phillippe’s bestselling romantic drama Cruel Intentions, where he played main character Kathryn Merteuil’s (Sarah Michelle Gellar) brother and unwitting partner-in-crime Sebastian Valmont. The original film was a loose adaptation of the 1782 French epistolary novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons in English) by Freemason Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Of this, Phillippe says, “So I guess they’re just going to go through my catalog and make shows on [my old movies]. It’s cool, man. It’s exciting. It means that you made something that mattered to people and that they still want to revisit, and that’s a compliment.”
Unlike Amazon Prime’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, NBC’s direct-to-streaming revival of Roger Kumble’s Cruel Intentions hasn’t had a lucky streak. While the James Wan rehash took only a year to cap following studio acquisition of the franchise rights in 2019, production on the new Cruel Intentions stalled due to budget constraints; as of October 2016, the project is officially deferred and NBC’s copartner Sony Pictures TV is presently scouting a new buyer. NBC withdrew after a planned summer run lapsed when contracts expired in December of that year. Ryan Phillippe doesn’t mention this in the September 20 interview, but it’s possible he simply wasn’t informed.
It’s a shame because unlike I Know What You Did Last Summer, the rebooted Cruel Intentions wasn’t just a remake; it was also a sequel with Sarah Michelle Gellar set to reprise the role she originated all the way back in 1999. It would have picked up 15 years after the film, as Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) tries to wrench control of Valmont International from its current owners, and reconnect with Bash Casey, Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), and Sebastian’s (Ryan Phillippe) adolescent son. Given Phillippe’s character already passed away during the events of the film, Bash would be taking over his legacy — hedonistic pleasures and all. Taylor John Smith would have played Bash Casey, with Samantha Logan co-starring. Tony-nominated actress Kate Levering (Drop Dead Diva) was set to replace Witherspoon, who also happens to Phillippe’s ex-wife, as Annette Hargrove. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.
The rebooted I Know What You Did Last Summer stars Madison Iseman, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck, Brooke Bloom, Sonya Balmores, and Bill Heck. It’s executive produced by Michael Clear, Erik Feig, Sara Goodman, Rob Hackett, Shay Hatten, Craig William Macneill, Neal H. Moritz, Pavan Shetty, and James Wan of Atomic Monster. It was filmed in Oahu, Hawaii, and hits Amazon Prime on October 15. Craig William Macneill (NOS4A2) is directing the pilot episode. Unlike Ryan Phillippe, who is sitting this one out, Moritz and Feig have returned to produce the show.