Amazon is moving forward with a Cruel Intentions reboot series without the involvement of Sarah Michelle Gellar or Reese Witherspoon.
Back in April, news broke that Amazon had picked up a television adaptation of the cult classic film Cruel Intentions for eight episodes. Now, recent reports from Variety indicate that the project has gained momentum, with several actors joining the cast. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like beloved cast members from the original film, such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reese Witherspoon, are involved in the forthcoming series.
Cruel Intentions will feature an ensemble cast of exceptional talent, including Sarah Catherine Hook as Caroline, Zac Burgess as Lucien, Khobe Clarke as Scott, Brooke Lena Johnson as Beatrice, Sara Silva as CeCe, John Harlan Kim as Blaise, and Myra Molloy as Annie. Laura Benanti and Jon Tenney have also joined the cast in recurring guest star roles, portraying the characters of Claudia and U.S. Congressman Russell, respectively. Additionally, Sean Patrick Thomas, known for his role as Ronald Clifford in the original Cruel Intentions, is set to play an entirely new character, Professor Chadwick, in the forthcoming series.
Set in the affluent world of Manhattan’s elite teenagers, 1999’s Cruel Intentions follows the cunning stepsiblings Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe). When Sebastian becomes infatuated with the innocent and virtuous Annette (Reese Witherspoon), Kathryn devises a wicked wager to test his ability to seduce her. As the stakes rise, secrets are unveiled, leading to a gripping climax.
Amazon’s upcoming television series will transport the drama from New York to Washington, D.C., but the core storyline bears a striking resemblance to the film. The series will revolve around two stepsiblings, reminiscent of the characters portrayed by Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions, who are determined to maintain their dominant positions within the prestigious Green Life hierarchy at their college. Facing the peril of a harrowing hazing incident endangering the Panhellenic system, the stepsiblings will stop at nothing, including seducing the daughter of the U.S. Vice President, in a bid to protect their power and reputations, drawing parallels to the character Reese Witherspoon played in the film.
Despite its current cult classic status, Cruel Intentions initially received mixed reviews upon its release in 1999. While the performances of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Ryan Phillippe were praised by critics, the screenplay faced criticism for being formulaic and predictable. The film’s 54 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes reflects the mixed and negative reception it received from critics.
Nonetheless, Cruel Intentions played a crucial role in propelling the careers of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, and Ryan Phillippe, even in the face of mixed reviews. Given this precedent, it is reasonable to expect that Amazon‘s upcoming series has the potential to do the same for its ensemble of talented young actors, providing them with a platform for further recognition and success. The television series format undoubtedly provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the rich source material and complex characters of Cruel Intentions, offering a platform for more extensive exploration.
Currently, there is no information regarding the premiere date of the series. However, filming will reportedly commence in Toronto in June of next year. While original Cruel Intentions stars such as Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reese Witherspoon will not be a part of the initial cast, they can make guest appearances if the show proves successful.