Spotted: A pajama-clad Kristen Bell inside a recording booth on the Warner Bros. lot.
TVLine has learned that the TV all-star (Veronica Mars, The Good Place) has signed on to reprise her role as Gossip Girl‘s omniscient narrator in HBO Max’s forthcoming reboot.
The original series’ creators, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, are on board to EP the new version alongside former Gossip Girl EP Joshua Safran, who will serve as showrunner. “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,” the trio said in a statement.
News of Bell’s official return comes fourth months after HBO Max placed a 10-episode order for a new iteration of the former CW hit that will “introduce a fresh crop of gorgeous Manhattan private-schoolers to Gossip Girl’s all-seeing eye.” Per the streaming service, the reboot “will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.”
Schwartz recently described Gossip Girl 2.0 as more of a “continuation” as opposed to a “remake,” adding, “There aren’t, like, new actors playing Serena and Blair.” 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.”
HBO Max is set to launch in May 2020 (pricing info. here). A premiere date for Gossip Girl, meanwhile, remains TBD.