Revivals and reboots have become a common aspect of the current entertainment climate. Specifically, projects that are loved from the 90’s have been making comebacks due to the fact that 90’s kids are now in their 20’s and possibly longing for a way back to their childhood. One of the most 90’s recent reboots is the pilot for the TV adaptation/sequel of 1999’s drama Cruel Intentions. NBC is currently in development of the pilot, which will take place more than 15 years after the film’s events played out. Now it appears that the pilot has cast one if its leads.
THR is reporting that actress Kate Levering will be taking over the role of Annette Hargrove in NBC’s pilot of Cruel Intentions. This role was originally played by Reese Witherspoon in the 1999 film, and was how she met ex-husband Ryan Phillippe.
Just last week it was announced that Sarah Michelle Gellar would be reprising her role as Kathryn Merteuil, the role she originated in the 1999 drama. This revelation brought up a conversation regarding the possibility of Reese Witherspoon also returning for the project. Of course, Witherspoon has never been extremely active in TV projects, with her career focusing on film. To no one’s surprise, it turns out that Witherspoon won’t be taking part of the pilot, and her role now going to Kate Levering.
Kate Levering is best known for her role as Kim Kaswell in the Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva. She’s also got theater experience and was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in the 2001 revival of Broadway musical 42nd Street.
The Cruel Intentions pilot will be set in present time many years after the events of the film. The series will revolve around Kathryn as she continues to use her cunning and manipulative ways in an attempt to gain power of Valmont International. Additionally, she will attempt to use her nephew Bash, son of the late Sebastian and Annette, to gain leverage in the company. Bash will end up finding his father’s infamous journal and will then be introduced to a world of greed, sex, and manipulation.
In addition to Kate Levering and Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bash will be played by relative newcomer Taylor John Smith. Smith is best known for his recurring role in the second season of American Crime, so if Cruel Intentions gets ordered for a series this has the potential to be a star making moment for the young actor.
It should be interesting to see, granted the pilot is picked up, if Selma Blair and Christine Baranski would be willing to step back into the roles of Cecile and Bunny Caldwell. Both have a ton of TV work under their belts, and now that The Good Wife is ending Baranski will be more available for a new project.
I think that the pilot of Cruel Intentions has a distinct possibility of becoming a series on NBC. The movie is a pop culture staple of the 90’s that is still played on cable often. Everything from the dialogue, soundtrack, and events of the film are iconic. Adding the star power and legitimacy that Sarah Michelle Gellar adds by her involvement, it seems like the recipe for success.
We’ll continue to update you as more information regarding the Cruel Intentions pilot become public.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.