The network initially ordered a pilot for the potential adaptation in February 2016, before ultimately opting against greenlighting the project in October of that same year. Now, in an interview with The New York Times, Gellar (who played devious step-sister Kathryn Merteuil in the 1999 movie and its unaired pilot) stated that the network and concept were simply not a good fit.
“I don’t know. That was a whole crazy time,” she said. “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. So, I was actually grateful.”
The Cruel Intentions pilot picked up roughly 16 years after the events of the movie, with Annette — now played by Kate Levering — raising her and Sebastian’s teenage son Bash in Ohio. Annette once again crossed paths with Sebastian’s sister Kathryn (Gellar) when Bash runs away to San Diego, seeking the truth about his father’s past.
Though Sony, the production studio, had shopped the project around after NBC passed, the cast’s extended options were ultimately not renewed.
Then in October 2021, nearly five years after NBC passed, Amazon’s free streaming service IMDb TV began development on a new take on the original movie. Phoebe Fisher (Euphoria) was set to write the pilot alongside Sara Goodman (of the original Gossip Girl), while Neal H. Moritz — who produced the original Cruel Intentions film — was among the project’s executive producers.
Gellar can currently be seen in the Netflix film Do Revenge, which was released on the streamer Friday, Sept. 16.
Would you have wanted to see a broadcast version of Cruel Intentions, or do you agree with Gellar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.