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.
I don’t know how I feel about this, would love to see Sarah Michelle Gellar return as Kathryn.
I’m a big OG cruel intentions fan. Based soley on the synopsis, this sounds nothing like Cruel intentions. You could give this series an entirely different name and few would connect this to Cruel intentions
Based on Amazon’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, I am not hopeful. Although this is an interesting coda to yesterday’s story about Salke never learning from her mistakes.
I’d much rather have that sequel series w/ SMG… Amazon should pick that up instead.
Waiting for the “why can’t they come up with an original storyl?” complaints to roll in. As noted above the 1999 Cruel Intentions was an adaptation based on the 1782 French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses–which inspired not only plays but an earlier movie treatment Dangerous Liaisons in 1988 starring Glen Close,John Malkovitch & Michelle Pfeiffer. Just because a storyline has been adapted before doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be given a chance.
The problem is the trend for ‘remakes’ has largely become pretty lazy. There are plenty of examples of remaking or reinterpreting sources that have already been done but when they work its because they have something unique about it, Cruel Intentions certainly does over the Dangerous Liaisons. There however is an increasingly large amount of lazy remakes that think doing the same thing but perhaps diversifying the roles ordoing an almost shot for shot remake is enough. Or Worse still just take the name and slapping it on something generic. And atleast from whats been released this seems to lack anything to say
The problem isn’t adaptations, it’s remakes of adaptations. You can do a million Emma adaptions but that doesn’t mean you should redo Clueless. They shouldn’t use the name Cruel Intentions then be shocked when people think it’s a remake of the movie.
Interesting that you picked Clueless as the example since Clueless was redone as a 3 Season TV series keeping the same title but with notable differences..Did it reach the quality level of the movie?No-but it had/has it’s fans that enjoyed both versions.Having the TV series exist did no harm to the movie.
No SMG?! No thanks.
I doubt in our current cultural climate we are going to get anything resembling Cruel Intentions or Dangerous Liaisons. Those were stories that literally were centered on “not taking no for an answer.” And they’re twisted and delicious and scandalous. That’s not gonna fly today and whatever they do to make it “appropriate” with our current mores just simply isn’t Cruel Intentions.
The original was good very good. It was also made at the right time. In our current climate this remake as that’s what it is, will be generic and safe. At least give it to HBO let them run wild with it. Plus still no news of any decent new material coming out of Hollywood? Nope.
I’m glad they clarified Sara Goodman (of the original Gossip Girl) because Gossip Girl 2021 was hot garbage.