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It's been three years since we bid farewell to the Pretty Little Liars of Rosewood, and it's taken all that time to unravel every twist from the Freeform series. Just as (we think) we've figured it out, a new reboot of the show is headed to HBO Max. Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin has received a direct-to-series order from the streaming platform, three weeks after news of the show's development was announced. Riverdale's Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the creative force behind the reboot, alongside his Chilling Adventures of Sabrina collaborator Lindsay Calhoon Bring.
“Roberto and Lindsay are expanding the Pretty Little Liars universe with more murder, mysteries, and scandal, and we can’t wait,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said in a statement. Ahead, everything we know about those new mysteries, which member of the original PLL cast may be involved, and when you can watch.
'A' will target a new group of friends.
The OG Pretty Little Liars aired for seven seasons on Freeform, delivering a shocking series finale in 2017. That show followed Aria (Lucy Hale), Hannah (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell), and Spencer (Troian Bellisario)—a circle of friends in the fictional town of Rosewood grappling with the death of their friend Alison (Sasha Pieterse). In each episode, the group's secrets were threatened to be exposed by the veiled villain "A."
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin will introduce viewers to a new set of teens and depart from the franchise's 16 books and three companion novels of source material, written by Sara Shephard. A description of the show, per HBO Max, reads:
Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls—a brand-new set of Little Liars—find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago…as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-RAGE, horror-tinged drama Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe—in a brand new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.
The cast will include a bunch of fresh faces.
The stars of Original Sin include: Chandler Kinney (Zombies 2, Lethal Weapon) as Tabby, an “aspiring director and horror movie buff” with a secret; Maia Reficco (Kally's Mashup) as Noa, a track star adjusting to life after juvenile detention; Bailee Madison (Good Witch) as Imogen, a “final girl” who kicks off the mission to find “A”; Zaria (Two Distant Strangers) as Faran, a ballerina facing both “A” and the microaggressions in the dance world; and Malia Pyles (Baskets) as Minnie, the youngest of the group and a survivor of childhood trauma who “spends most of her time in the virtual world.”
The supporting and returning cast is already starting to shape up too. Among them are: Alex Aiono (Doogie Kamealoha) as Noa's supportive jock boyfriend Shawn; Mallory Bechtel (Hereditary) as mean girl Karen; Eric Johnson (Fifty Shades trilogy) as Sheriff Beasley; Lea Salonga (Mulan, Yellow Rose) as Minnie's mother who's supporting her through her trauma; Sharon Leal (Dream Girls) as Sidney, Tabby's mom, a single mom and real estate agent; and Elena Goode (Straight Outta Compton) as Marjorie, a nurse and Noa's mother; Carly Pope (Demonic) as Davie, Imogen's mother; and Zakiya Young (Orange is the New Black) as Corey, Faran's mother and a divorcée, according to Deadline.
The outlet also reports that Cristala Carter (Dr Death) plays Nurse Simmons, the school nurse; Derek Klena (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) plays Wes, Tabby's boss at the local movie theater who may have his eyes set on her; Kate Jennings Grant (Notorious) plays Madame Giry, the strict dance teacher; Robert Stanton (Mr. Mercedes) plays Marshall Clanton, the principal at Millwood High; Jennifer Ferrin (The Knick) plays Martha Beasley, the matriarch of her family; Lilla Crawford (Into the Woods) plays Sandy, Karen's right-hand; Brian Altemus (The Time Traveler’s Wife) plays Tyler, a jock who's the “poster child for young, toxic masculinity”; Anthony Ordonez (The Good Wife) plays computer science teacher Mr. Gardner, Minnie's mentor; and Jeffrey Bean (The Blacklist) plays Mr. Smithee, Tabby's film teacher.
This isn't the first Pretty Little Liars spinoff.
Three years between the original series and a reboot seems like a slim window, but this isn't even the first PLL-affiliated series to emerge since the show's 2010 debut. The hit drama spawned two spinoffs—Pretty Little Liars: Ravenswood in 2014 and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists in 2019. Ravenswood took place in a fictional town near Rosewood and followed the character of Caleb (Tyler Blackburn). Meanwhile, The Perfectionists depicted Alison and Mona's (Janel Parrish) lives at Beacon Heights University. Neither project really clicked with an audience and lasted only one season each.
The show is being made by teen TV royalty.
Executive producer/writer Aguirre-Sacasa is also coming off a few stalled Riverdale spinoffs. CW's Katy Keene, starring PLL alum Hale, was cancelled after only a season. His Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will also end after its upcoming fourth season.
Considering his resume, the teen genre is a world Aguirre-Sacasa knows well, as does co-executive producer/writer Calhoon Bring of Sabrina. In a statement, the pair praised the original PLL and paid homage to creator I. Marlene King:
We’re such huge fans of what I. Marlene King and her iconic cast created, we knew that we had to treat the original series as #CANON and do something different. So we’re leaning into the suspense and horror in this reboot, which hopefully will honor what the fans loved about the hit series, while weaving in new, unexpected elements.
That duo will produce the series through Aguirre-Sacasa’s Muckle Man Productions and Alloy Entertainment along with Warner Bros. Television. Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo have also signed on as executive producers.
Lucy Hale may return as a producer.
While none of the original cast members have signed on to appear in the reboot, Hale said in May that she would like to be involved in a different capacity. "When the time comes that they want to do it with a whole new cast, I might have to produce it because I'm way too protective of it," she told Entertainment Tonight. Considering Hale worked with Aguirre-Sacasa on Katy Keene, this collaboration seems likely.
Original Pretty Little Liars series creator I. Marlene King isn't involved.
One name not listed as part of the Original Sin team is PLL's series creator I. Marlene King. As of now, she's not involved with the new iteration and addressed her absence on Twitter. "The #OGPLL fans are the most passionate, loving and loyal in the universe. Thank you for all of your support. We are family forever. I love you," she tweeted on September 25.
Aguirre-Sacasa responded to the tweet with three heart emojis, while Parrish retweeted King's statement and added, "What she said. Love you @imarleneking."
There's no release date yet.
Since the series has just been confirmed, there's no additional casting or release info. Both Aguirre-Sacasa and Calhoon Bring have packed schedules, as he resumes production on Riverdale in Canada and she finishes work on the final Sabrina season. Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin will likely premiere after HBO Max's other high-profile reboot of a beloved teen drama, Gossip Girl, which will begin filming this fall.
Until then, the original Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars are available to stream on HBO Max.
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