Back in February, we reported that NBC is developing a TV adaptation of the 1999 cult classic movie Cruel Intentions, with original star Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to reprise her role as Kathryn Merteuil. The pilot was shot this spring, but NBC didn't announce an official series order during its upfront presentation. While this normally means that the network has simply passed on the pilot, that isn't the case this time around, as the series is still alive at NBC.
TV Line reports that NBC has extended the options on Sarah Michelle Gellar and the rest of the cast through December, which means the show still may see the light of day at some point. During the upfronts in May, NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt said that the show didn't move forward because they had so many other new shows on their slate, adding that they were still "figuring out what to do with it." This new report teases that the network is considering a summer 2017 launch, which would likely require the show's budget to be tweaked considerably.
The original Cruel Intentions movie, based on the novel of the same name by Choderlos de Laclos, centered on Sarah Michelle Gellar's Kathryn Merteuil, who seeks revenge after being dumped by her beau Court Reynolds (Charlie O'Connell) for the innocent Cecile (Selma Blair). Kathryn challenges her step-brother Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) to seduce Cecile, while, at the same time, they have an ongoing bet about whether or not Sebastian can seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon), the daughter of their private school's headmaster. The original movie also starred Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius and Sean Patrick Thomas, but none of those co-stars will be featured in the series.
The TV series is set 15 years after the events of the movie, centering on Kathryn Merteuil as she vies for control of Valmont International, along with the "soul" of Bash Casey, the son of Sebastian Valmont and Annette Hargrove. The series will be produced by the original movie's writer-director Roger Kumble and producer Neal H. Moritz, along with Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross. Both Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross were behind the stage production The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions, which debuted in Los Angeles this past May at Rockwell Table & Stag, and generated plenty of buzz. The stage play was attended by Roger Kumble, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair.
The TV series cast also includes Taylor John Smith as Bash Casey, Kate Levering as Annette Hargrove, Coby Bell as Pascal Barrett, Kathryn's husband who is a powerful attorney and Nathalie Kelley Carmen, who works for Kathryn and Pascal. The show will focus on Bash, who finds his father's private journal and discovers all of his illicit deeds, which opens him up to a world of power and corruption. Samantha Jade Logan and Sophina Brown have also been cast in the pilot.
It's possible that the show's producers may shoot another version of the pilot episode from a re-worked script, but that hasn't been confirmed. Still, with the network locking down the full cast until December, there is still hope that Cruel Intentions may still see the light of day on the small screen. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Cruel Intentions as soon as more information is released.