The recently launched Paramount Network — the channel formerly known as Spike TV — has released the first, full trailer for its television series based on Heathers, the 1988 dark comedy that cast Winona Ryder as a teenage girl whose feud with an elite high-school clique takes a deadly turn. The new series premieres March 7 and has Under the Dome actress Grace Victoria Cox taking on the role previously played by Ryder.
The trailer offers a good indication of some of the changes made in adapting the film — particularly the decisions to set the show in the present day and shift the members of the titular clique from a group of wealthy mean girls to a more diverse trio. The series’ spin on the three “Heathers” who torment Cox’s character, Veronica Sawyer, has Jasmine Mathews playing plus-size lesbian Heather McNamara, Melanie Field (Wicked) as Heather Chandler, and Brendan Scannell (Funny or Die) as a gender-shifted Heather Duke.
The trailer also teases the appearance of Charmed and Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Shannen Doherty, who played Heather Duke in the original film. The role Doherty will play in the film remains unknown at this point, but her presence offers a sly nod to the 1988 film. In July 2017, Hellboy actress Selma Blair was also added to the cast as Jade, Heather Duke’s gold-digging stepmother.
Rounding out the cast is Quantico actor James Scully as J.D., the character portrayed by Christian Slater in the original film. Bachelorette and Sleeping With Other People director Leslye Headland is a director on the series, with Butter and Bastards screenwriter Jason A. Micallef penning the scripts for the first, 10-episode season.
The original Heathers was written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, and although it was a box-office disappointment, the film went on to achieve cult-classic status based on its bitterly dark humor (“Dear Diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count.”) and a memorable script that posed such philosophical questions as, “What’s your damage?” Along with Ryder, Slater, and Doherty, the film starred Lisanne Falk and Kim Walker as the other two Heathers in the notorious clique.