It’s official. After several weeks of negotiations, Sarah Michelle Gellar has closed a deal to reprise her role from the cult 1999 movie Cruel Intentions as the female lead in NBC’s followup drama pilot based on the film. She just confirmed the news on Instagram.
Gellar, who starred in the movie alongside Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon, was approached to reprise her role shortly after the project was picked up to pilot.
Set in present day, Cruel Intentions picks up more than 15 years after the movie left off. It follows the beautiful and cunning Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey (Taylor John Smith), the son of her brother, the late Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), and Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon). 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.
Gellar’s Kathryn is a master manipulator who easily hides her self-serving machinations behind a facade of charm, poise and warmth. The woman behind the scandal involving Bash’s mother, Annette Hargrove, Kathryn is now married to the wealthy Pascal Barrett and spearheads an inspiring youth rehabilitation movement, as well as being involved in a local private school. The stepsister of Sebastian Valmont, Kathryn is privately shaken by the arrival of Sebastian’s son, Bash, and the re-appearance in her life of the girl she wronged years ago, Annette Hargrove Casey. A force of nature, Kathryn has many secrets in her life.
Co-starring in the pilot are Samantha Logan and Sophina Brown.
Cruel Intentions comes from the film’s writer-director Roger Kumble and producer Neal H. Moritz as well as Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross, the duo behind the The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions, whose staging at Los Angeles’ Rockwell Table & Stage in May generated buzz and drew Kumble, Witherspoon, Gellar and co-star Selma Blair who all attended. Kumble wrote the pilot script with Rosin and Ross. Kumble will direct. He executive produces with Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film; Rosin and Ross co-executive produce.
Sony Pictures TV is producing alongside Original Film and AMBI.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumna Gellar is being approached for pilots every season but has only agreed to do four since the end of Buffy — HBO’s The Wonderful Maladys; CBS’ comedy The Crazy Ones and drama Ringer, both of which went to series — and now Cruel Intentions. She is repped by ICM Partners, Brillstein Entertainment and Morris Yorn.