If former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television soon, it won’t be with NBC.
The Peacock network passed on a television sequel to Gellar’s 1999 film Cruel Intentions after NBC and the production company looking to revive the drama, Sony Pictures Television, couldn’t agree on licensing fees to make the proposed summer series work, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This is actually the second time NBC turned Cruel Intentions down, the first coming in May. But it doesn’t mean the series is dead in the water – Sony now is free to shop the concept around to other outlets to see who might have some pre-21st century nostalgia.
Gellar had intended to reprise her role of Kathryn Merteuil more than 15 years later as she fights for control of her family’s company “as well as the soul of Bash Casey” played by Taylor John Smith, an actor who most recently played Luke in ABC’s American Crime. Casey is the son of Merteuil’s stepbrother, the late Sebastian Valmont, who was played by Ryan Phillippe in the film.
Upon discovering his late father’s legacy in a hidden journal, Bash is introduced to a world of sex, money, power and corruption he never could have imagined.
The 1999 film, which was written and directed by Roger Kumble based on the book by Choderios de Laclos, earned $75.8 million in worldwide box office – equivalent to $109.4 million today. Kumble returned to direct the pilot, based on the screenplay he wrote with South of Nowhere‘s Lindsey Rosin and Never Fade Away‘s Jordan Ross.
Rosin and Ross actually had developed a stage musical parody of Cruel Intentions, which is slated for a revival later this month.
Since Buffy ended in 2003, Gellar has tried her hand in films (appearing in 2004’s The Grudge and returning for its 2006 sequel, The Grudge 2), but has stayed primarily in television. Her more recent credits include Ringer for The CW, and the short-lived CBS series The Crazy Ones alongside the late Robin Williams.
Gellar more recently voiced Seventh Sister in the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.
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