Sarah Michelle Gellar is glad that NBC passed on a TV series based on her 1999 film “Cruel Intentions.”
The actress discussed the reboot during a recent interview with The New York Times. The pilot was ordered in February 2016, but the network had passed on the series by October of the same year. Gellar would have reprised her iconic role as the manipulative Kathryn Merteuil.
But, ultimately, she agreed that the series wasn’t a fit for network television.
“Nothing against NBC, but ‘Cruel Intentions’ is straight streaming,” she said. “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.’ So, I was actually grateful.”
The series was meant to pick up over 15 years after the conclusion of the movie, following Gellar’s Kathryn Merteuil as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her stepbrother, the late Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon).
Besides Gellar, the “Cruel Intentions” TV series had already cast Kate Levering, Taylor John Smith (“American Crime”), Samantha Logan, Sophina Brown and Nathalie Kelley. The film’s original director and writer Roger Kumble was also on board.
Kumble previously tried to bring “Cruel Intentions” to TV with a series called “Manchester Prep.” It was scrapped by Fox prior to the airing of the first episode in 1999, due to scenes that included female masturbation, among other concerns. It starred Robin Dunne, Amy Adams and Keri Lynn Pratt; it was then adapted into a straight-to-DVD sequel “Cruel Intentions 2.”