I Know What You Did Last Summer’s Showrunner Shares Huge Reason Why She Wanted To Remake The ‘90s Classic

The returns of beloved horror slashers are becoming more popular these days as Halloween Kills dominated theaters this past weekend along with the debut of Amazon’s I Know What You Did Last Summer show on Prime Video. The first four episodes have dropped and while the basic setup is comparable to the ‘90s classic film, the rest of the series seems to be telling a completely new story. Revisiting a property as nostalgic as this one is never easy, and oftentimes leads to the question: why did it come back?

When CinemaBlend spoke to I Know What You Did Last Summer’s showrunner, Sara Goodman, I asked her what about the property she wanted to build upon that we haven’t seen before. She shared her thoughts as follows: 

The movie was obviously 25 years ago and the novel before it was 25 years before that and I feel like we live in a very different time now. The struggles and societal pressure that’s on kids coming of age right now is very different with social media and feeling exposed. So I felt like that made it a very fresh kind of take and modern. And honestly felt like in the movie you don’t have enough time to explore the characters and what this does to them and who they really were coming in. It’s much more about the plot. We certainly have lots of plot and lots of mystery and lots of kills, but I also think the thing that’s exciting to me is this is a chance to explore new characters in the same situation.

This same week in 1997, I Know What You Did Last Summer hit theaters and starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe. The movie came from writer Kevin Williamson, who had found great success connecting with young horror fans for Scream the year prior. Instead of the masked Ghostface, this movie told the tale of a group of high school friends on a night out celebrating their graduation when they run over someone and decide to hide the body at sea.

A year later, the group is brought back together when a series of notes and violent acts from somebody who claims to have known what they “did” and are haunting for it. I Know What You Did Last Summer still holds up years later. It’s a fun slasher full of mystery and gory scares. But now we have the Amazon Prime series that takes it to the next level. In this version, the accident involves one among a pair of twins played by Madison Iseman being killed, and the other wrestling with her death as she starts to receive these messages a year later. 

At first, I admit I was not sold on seeing the same premise being laid out with higher stakes, like hard drug abuse and social media blackmail, but as I watched on, the I Know What You Did Last Summer series' benefit of stretching its concept out longer and telling a full-fledged story about a group of teens who very much operate in the gray areas of what you’d expect does begin to pay off. As I watched the series, the misdirects became clever and full of depth. And most of all really questioning each characters' motivations. 

It’s interesting to see how the storyline evolves with the current generation and we’ll continue to follow along on I Know What You Did Last Summer as the rest of the episodes are unveiled on Fridays over on Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab).

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.