Attention Upper East Siders: Serena, Blair, Chuck, Nate, Dan and Little J still exist in the upcoming HBO Max reboot … but will fans ever see S, B and friends onscreen again? Time will tell.
“We’ve reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening, and we would love for them to be involved if they want to be involved,” executive producer Josh Schwartz told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in July 2019. “But [we] certainly didn’t want to make it contingent upon their [participation]. They played those characters for six years, and if they felt like they were good with that, we wanted to respect that. But obviously, it would be great to see them again.”
Gossip Girl originally ran on The CW for six seasons from 2007 to 2012. The series starred Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen), Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf), Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey), Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald), Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass), Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey), Jessica Szohr (Vanessa Abrams), Kelly Rutherford (Lily van der Woodsen) and Matthew Settle (Rufus Humphrey). Schwartz added that the new series is a “continuation” of the OG show.
“There aren’t, like, new actors playing Serena and Blair,” he said. While details of the new characters are still under wraps, the HBO Max show will star Emily Alyn Lind, Whitney Peak, Eli Brown, Thomas Doherty, Zión Moreno, Savannah Smith, Jordan Alexander, Johnathan Fernandez, Jason Gotay, Tavi Gevinson, Evan Mock and Adam Chanler-Berat.
Crawford confirmed that the original crew was informed about the series before it made headlines.
“It just makes me feel old. I got an email about it right before my birthday. It’s funny they’re already rebooting it,” the actor told Augustman in August 2019. “There are so many different streaming services nowadays. Our show was on a network, so you do 24 to 26 episodes per season and each episode had its own conflict and resolution. If you’re doing eight to 10 episodes, as I heard they would be doing on HBO Max, you can write with a different narrative style and have an ending in mind, like they do on Netflix and Amazon shows. It’s interesting, and I’m sure they can get away with edgier stuff these days.”
Showrunner Josh Safran, who worked on the original series too, confirmed that there will be references to the OG characters.
“Well, we talk about what happened to Dan, so I might have to text Penn and see if he’s really available,” Safran told Entertainment Tonight in December 2019. “Penn also works constantly, but we’ll see if we can rope him in there. That would be great. I would love for everyone to come back if they wanted to.”
He continued: “They are a part of the world. The characters talk about them and that they do exist. So yeah, I would love to have them come back. The show jumped five years in the future when it ended and we are past that five years now, so it’s whole new things that they could be doing. I think of [the new show] like the Marvel universe. It’s not a continuation or a sequel. It truly just is looking at a different angle.”
While Kristen Bell will be respiring her role as the narrator for the new series, Gossip Girl won’t necessarily be one person.
“We thought there was something really interesting about the idea that we are all Gossip Girl now,” Schwartz explained at TCAs. “In our own way, that we are all purveyors of our own social media surveillance state and how that has evolved and how that has mutated and morphed and telling that through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids.”
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