Amazon Prime is turning the 1999 cult classic Cruel Intentions into a series. The project was in development for two years before being picked up by Amazon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Prime Video has ordered eight episodes of the Cruel Intentions series, which is expected to be an update of the original movie.
“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.”Lauren Anderson, head of unscripted and targeted programming at Amazon MGM Studios
The new series will change location from New York, where the film takes place, to Washington, D.C. Otherwise, you can expect the series to cover much of the same subject matter as the film. That means bored and rich step-siblings making wagers that involve manipulating the innocent for fun while scheming to sleep with each other at the same time.
The new Cruel Intentions series was originally being developed for Amazon’s ad-supported streaming service Freevee—previously known as IMDb TV—but is now planned to run on Prime Video. Sony Pictures Television, Amazon MGM Studios, and Original Film produce the series.
New And Returning Cast
The 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. Thomas plays the part of Ronald Clifford in the original 1999 movie but will be portraying a new character in the Amazon series. Actors Claire Forlani, Nikki Crawford, Isabella Tagliati, Zeke Goodman, and Jon Tenney will also appear on the show in 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 unscripted and targeted programming at Amazon MGM Studios.
The novel Anderson referred to was Les Liaisons dangereuses, itself adapted into its own film Dangerous Liaisons in 1988. The Amazon executive continued by saying that the streamer was “beyond thrilled” to be sharing this new iteration of Cruel Intentions, complete with “intriguing interplay of deception, wit, and reckoning,” with Prime customers.
It’s surprising that it’s taken this long for someone to adapt the movie into a series. The truth is, there have been many attempts to do so, but none have been successful before now.
The Failed Pilot
Sometime after the film, Fox commissioned a prequel series called Manchester Prep but ultimately decided to scrap the project. Instead, three completed Manchester Prep episodes were edited together into the 2001 direct-to-video release Cruel Intentions 2. A second series, this one a sequel to the original movie, was picked up for a pilot by NBC in 2015. Despite the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar as the scheming Kathryn Merteuil, NBC declined to develop the series past the pilot.
Meanwhile, Cruel Intentions 2 was followed by another made-for-video sequel, Cruel Intentions 3, this time with no connection to the original whatsoever. An Off-Broadway jukebox musical, Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical was also produced and ran from 2017 to 2018.
Cruel Intentions sure has had a lot of longevity for a movie that is really only famous for a same-sex makeout scene between Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar.