Nostalgia abounds these days, so it’s not surprising that NBC is interested in rebooting Cruel Intentions, the ’90s feature-length drama that made Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Selma Blair famous — if only briefly for some. The network has purchased a script with penalty, Variety reports, and Roger Kumble, the film’s director and writer, is on board.
It sounds as though the plan for the series is to use elements and themes from the film and incorporate them into a modern-day setting, a generation later. While the movie portrays the dark love story of Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe) and Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon), the TV series would instead focus on Bash, their now teenage son (yeah, his name is Bash).
The setup is that Bash finds his late father’s journal and decides to find out more about his legacy. To do so, he’ll take a scholarship at a prep school in San Francisco — leaving behind his Midwestern hometown — and immerse himself in the same type of corrupt world described by his father, Sebastian.
NBC wasn’t the only network interested in the pitch, but it was the one to land the project. The series is currently in the works with Kumble set to direct the pilot and Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross attached to co-write. The two writers will also executive produce the series with Neal Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film. AMBI is set to produce.
Rosin and Ross are known for two popular one-night unauthorized musicals; not coincidentally, one of them was based on Cruel Intentions. Kumble, Witherspoon, Gellar, and Blair even attended the much buzzed about performance. The duo’s other musical was based on the hit TV show The O.C. In addition to the reboot, Rosin is also working on Squad Goals, a comedy for CBS.
Cruel Intentions has spawned multiple follow-ups over the years. After its unexpected success at the box office, two direct-to-video movies were released. One was Cruel Intentions 2, a prequel that had originally been intended to be the FOX series Manchester Prep, starring Amy Adams before she was Amy Adams.
Of course, the film itself is a reboot of sorts, based on the movie Dangerous Liasons (starring Glen Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfiefer), which is based on the French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), which is based on … you get the picture.