Sorry, Gossip Girl fans, Serena, Blair & Co. will not be part of HBO Max’s forthcoming take on the CW series — but they do exist in the ethos of the new drama.
“There aren’t, like, new actors playing Serena and Blair. It’s not a remake. [It’s] a continuation of that world,” executive producer Josh Schwartz told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, where he was promoting his Hulu limited series Looking for Alaska.
That said, the door is open for the original stars, which included leading ladies Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, to make an appearance. “We’ve reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening, and we would love for them to be involved if they want to be involved,” Schwartz said. “But [we] certainly didn’t want to make it contingent upon their [participation]. They played those characters for six years, and if they felt like they were good with that, we wanted to respect that. But obviously, it would be great to see them again.”
Instead, the 10-episode series will introduce a fresh crop of gorgeous Manhattan private-schoolers to Gossip Girl’s all-seeing eye. Per the streaming service, the next-gen show “will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.”
Gossip Girl EP Joshua Safran will pen the new take and serve as an EP. “He had a really great take and a really great idea, and that made it feel like this was the moment,” Schwartz explained. “He definitely wanted to subvert the original paradigm.”
Schwartz added that the subject of a new Gossip Girl is something he and co-creator Stephanie Savage “have been talking about off and on over the last couple years,” but they needed the right idea.
“We felt like a version that was just our cast grown up — regardless of what the challenges would be of assembling those actors again — it didn’t really feel like a group of adults who were being controlled by Gossip Girl would make a lot of sense,” Schwartz continued. “It felt like there was something really interesting about this idea that we are all Gossip Girl now, in our own way, that we are all kind of purveyors of our own social media state, and how that’s evolved and how that has morphed and mutated, and telling that story through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids just felt like the right time.”
There’s no premiere date for Gossip Girl 2.0; however, WarnerMedia’s new streaming service launches in the spring of 2020.