Sarah Michelle Gellar has spoken up about NBC’s planned reboot of Cruel Intentions, revealing she is “grateful” the network did not pick up the series. Gellar was set to reprise her role as Kathryn Merteuil in the reboot announced in February 2016.
Gellar, who rose to fame as Buffy in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, recently opened up to The New York Times about her relief that the intended reboot of Cruel Intentions never made it past the pilot. “That was a whole crazy time,” Gellar said of filming the remake. “Nothing against NBC, but Cruel Intentions is straight streaming. 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.” When the pilot was announced in February 2016, Gellar was set to once again play Kathryn Merteuil, a wealthy and popular member of New York’s Upper East Side who enjoyed destroying other people for her own amusement. However, when the network announced it would not be continuing with the project in October 2016, Gellar claims she was “actually grateful” as the show did not live up to the 1999 film.
The Cruel Intentions remake was set to take place seventeen years after the film’s end. In the series, Kathryn was set to be competing for her family’s business, Valmont International. The series would have also seen Bash Casey–her late step-brother, Sebastian Valmont’s (Ryan Phillippe) son–discover his late father’s journal and enter a world of money, sex, power, and corruption. Prior to the canceled series, another television reboot had also been created by Fox, originally titled Manchester Prep. The three episodes that were filmed never made it to air; however, it was instead recut into a direct-to-video release titled Cruel Intentions 2. IMBd TV announced in October 2021 that it would be working on a new, updated version of the movie which, like the original film, would also be adapted from Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses. This version of the film will be set in the world of politics.
Cruel Intentions (1999), directed by Roger Kumble, follows the story of two prep-school step-siblings, Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillippe). The wealthy New York siblings make a wager for the new headmaster’s daughter’s virginity; the daughter, Annette Hargrove, was played by Reese Witherspoon. On the line are Sebastian’s precious car, a vintage Jaguar XK140 and a possible relationship with Kathryn. Of course, things do not go to plan, leading to Kathryn seeking revenge. The movie was produced by Columbia Pictures and released in March 1999.
Cruel Intentions is currently streaming on Prime Video. Check out the trailer below: