Everything we know about the 'Gossip Girl' reboot so far
You know you love me, XOXO
Hey Upper East Siders, if you’re like me and you’re choosing to spend the days of Covid’s official second wave hiding at home and viciously bingeing Gossip Girl on Netflix, then you’re probably also dying for news of the official reboot series.
Luckily for us a plethora of on-set photos have recently been released, giving us our first official look at the new generation of Manhattan’s elite, but not much else is really known about the new HBO series.
So in anticipation of the new series, and in tribute to the old one, here’s a round-up of all that we know so far:
(P.S. this post will contain spoilers for the original show, so if you’re still dying to know who the OG Gossip Girl is, best skip this post)
It’s not a remake
If you’re a big fan like me and feeling a little protective of the old story and characters don’t stress, original Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will serve as executive producers while Joshua Safran, who also worked on the original, is writing the script.
Even better, the new series won’t completely rewrite the original, but is set in the same universe, just eight years later (the first show ended in 2012). The characters will still live in New York and attend Constance Billard and St. Judes private schools, and according to the producers there is opportunity for the original characters to be referenced.
According to Safran, the reboot will fit into the original, similarly to how different installments fit into the Marvel cinematic universe. “It’s not a continuation or a sequel. It truly just is looking at a different angle,” he says.
From the show’s official description, it seems the new series will adapt the platform of Gossip Girl to fit into the current age of social media obsession, something the show touched on well before its time (though how hilarious is it to see those ancient cellphones in the older episodes?). Read the description below:
“Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years.”
According to the producers, one of the main differences is that there will not be one mysterious blogger who spills all the tea but instead, everyone will make up the entity of Gossip Girl. As someone who was really disappointed by the big Gossip Girl reveal in the OG series (Dan, really? REALLY?!), I love this new idea.
The show will only premiere in 2021
This one is pretty obvious considering we’re already midway through December (something I still can’t believe), but the show had originally been slated to begin airing late this year before production was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic (2020 strikes again) so filming only started in late October.
It’s unlikely any of the original cast will feature
According to series co-creator Josh Schwartz:
“We felt that a version with just our cast grown up, regardless of the challenges of getting those actors, didn’t feel like a group of adults controlled by ‘gossip girl’ made much sense. We felt there was something interesting that we are all ‘gossip girl’ in our own way and how that’s evolved, morphed and mutated and telling that story through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids felt right.” That said, the producers are open to the older cast making cameos in the new series.
According to Safran, “I would love for everyone to come back if they wanted to. The universe still exists. The characters talk about Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan.”
While some of the cast have expressed interest in returning (like Leighton Meester and Chace Crawford) others have pretty much said no (like the Humphrey kids Penn Badgley and Taylor Momsen). Side note: am I the only one who will never see Nate Archibald the same after Crawford’s portrayal of the frankly messed up character The Deep in Amazon’s The Boys?
At this stage the only confirmed OG character returning is Kristen Bell as the voice of Gossip Girl herself. “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,” the producers said in a statement. I for one am relieved.
The new cast has been announced
While not too much is known about the plot, we are super excited for the new and more diverse cast this time around. Actress Emily Alyn Lind has been announced as a lead in the upcoming series, and she will play Audrey, a character who “has been in a long term relationship and is beginning to wonder what more could be out there.” Sounds a bit Blair Waldorf-esque to us, especially if you think of all of Blair’s Audrey Hepburn references in the OG show…
Other cast members include Jordan Alexander, Eli Brown, Johnathan Fernandez, Jason Gotay, Thomas Doherty, Evan Mock and Adam Chanler-Berat though no more character descriptions have been released.
The original costume designer for Gossip Girl is returning
Costume designer Eric Daman has joined the series, and from what we’ve seen the show’s iconic fashion is still pulling through, though in hindsight you have to admit there were a lot of misfires in the OG show, I know it was 2008 but did we really think Blair’s OTT headbands and excessive pearls were cute? I’m still here for Chuck’s scarf though…
The producers are tight lipped about how controversial the new series will be
While it may seem tame now in comparison to other teen-centric shows of our time (Um hello Euphoria), for its time Gossip Girl was fairly controversial. From the underage sex, drugs and partying to the problematic characters (Chuck should definitely be arrested in episode one) the show was tagged as “every parent’s worst nightmare”, in its early days, a tagline it brilliantly used in its advertising materials.
As for the new series, Safran doesn’t want to give too much away, though the fact that it’s airing on HBO, the same platform as Euphoria, seems to be a hint:
“Luckily, we’ll be airing post-Euphoria, so anything we do will seem tame by comparison. I don’t think we’ll be that controversial.”
We can’t wait to see it, and in the interim I’ll get back to bingeing the OG series. How many times have I watched it you ask? That’s one secret I’ll never tell.
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