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Cruel Intentions TV Adaptation Ordered to Series (Finally!) at Amazon

Cruel Intentions tv show Amazon Freevee
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Cruel Intentions‘ long and torturous journey to the small screen was not all for naught.

TVLine has confirmed exclusively that Amazon has placed an eight-episode series order for the long-gestating TV adaptation of the 1999 film. Production is set to get underway in early June in Toronto.

Although the project had been in development at Freevee, Amazon’s free streaming service, insiders say there’s a chance the series could shift to sibling streamer Prime Video.

Reps for both Freevee and Prime Video declined comment.

Set in Washington, D.C., the series follows two ruthless step-siblings who will do anything to stay at the top of the Greek Life hierarchy at their elite college. When a brutal hazing incident threatens the entire Panhellenic system, they’ll do whatever is necessary to preserve their power and reputations… including seducing the daughter of the U.S. vice president.

The OG film version of Cruel Intentions — which was itself based on the 18th-century novel Dangerous Liaisons — starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe as step-siblings Kathryn Merteuil and Sebastian Valmont, who wagered on Sebastian’s ability to seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), the daughter of the headmaster at their elite New York City prep school.

In 2016, NBC ordered to pilot a sequel series that would have taken place 16 years after the events of the film, with Gellar set to return as Kathryn. The pilot was ultimately not given a series order, and it failed to find a home elsewhere.

Last October, Gellar admitted that she was “grateful” the NBC iteration did not move forward. “Nothing against NBC, but Cruel Intentions is straight streaming,” she told the New York Times. “On the first day, I was like, ‘This isn’t working.’ It’s just not a network show. And if it is a network show, it’s not my Cruel Intentions. So, I was actually grateful.”

Prior to NBC’s efforts, Fox attempted a prequel series titled Manchester Prep in 1999. The project was scrapped before it aired, but three of the produced episodes were turned into the direct-to-video film Cruel Intentions 2, which was released in 2001.

Amazon’s Cruel Intentions, of which Gellar is not involved, first went into development in October 2021, with Phoebe Fisher (Euphoria) tapped to write the pilot alongside Sara Goodman (of the original Gossip Girl). Neal H. Moritz — who produced the original Cruel Intentions film — is among the executive producers.

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