On Saturday, October 24, the actress, 33, shared a Gossip Girl meme via her Instagram Stories. “We watched the entire series to find out it’s Dan,” read the photo. Lively, who portrayed Serena van der Woodsen for all six seasons of the CW drama, wrote over the photo, “YOU’RE surprised… Imagine how the writers felt.”
While the big reveal shocked — and honestly, confused — fans of the series when it aired in 2012, Dan (Penn Badgley) being Gossip Girl wasn’t always the plan, showrunner Josh Safran revealed last year.
“One of the writers realized that Nate [Chase Crawford] had never sent a tip in to Gossip Girl, which is true at least through the end of season 5,” the executive producer explained during a Vulture Festival panel in 2019. “Nate never sent in a tip in through all of those episodes, which is when we’re like, ‘Oh, well then he’s Gossip Girl.'”
Badgley, for his part, finally accepted that he is Gossip Girl in 2017 — even though he doesn’t actually understand the show.
“I think I got that show the least out of anyone who was a part of it. I have to just admit that,” the You actor, 33, told TVLine in 2017. “But I’m happy to wear that crown, so to speak. Like, yeah, OK. I’m Gossip Girl. That’s cool. I think the most honest thing I can say about it is that it’s very hard for anyone to have that much perspective about themselves.”
“It’s the same world. As we get closer, we can kind of roll out details of what exactly is going to be the same and tie us to the original show,” cocreator Josh Schwartz told Us Weekly exclusively after the announcement. Cocreator Stephanie Savage also added that since the original finale jumped five years ahead, the set up was there.
Although the original cast isn’t directly involved, there’s a chance for cameos.
“We covered so much ground the first time around, you would have seen all the relatives. [The original character’s] kids is not possible because they were, like, 15 when we started, so they wouldn’t have kids in high school now,” Safran told Us in December 2019. “As for relatives, we went so deep into the family history, there are no relatives left! But that isn’t to say that people won’t pop in.”
He continued: “It really is the same world. It’s 2020. If these characters were to talk about Blair Waldorf, they’re going to talk about Blair Waldorf. I kind of look at it as sort of what Marvel does or the DC Universe. You’re just looking at a different angle inside the universe. I think, because of that, it allows us to not feel super tied. … It’s still in the same location, it is still [about] fashion, still about privilege, about the 1 percent.”