A Gossip Girl sequel series is among many projects currently in development for HBO Max, and it has now been confirmed Kristen Bell will be returning as the narrator. "Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl," the show's producers said in a statement. Previously, Bell narrated all 121 episodes of the original series as the titular blogger and also made a brief appearance as herself in the series finale. Moving forward with a new sequel series, many fans would have a hard time imagining any other voice narrating the series, and creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage apparently agree.
Back in July, it was announced a Gossip Girl revival series was in the works at HBO Max, but it wasn't clear if the show would be featuring any returning characters. Star Leighton Meester would later claim she was not asked to be a part of the project and wouldn't be reprising the role of Blair Waldorf. Her former co-star Chace Crawford similarly said he hadn't been approached to be a part of the series, though he would be open to reprising the role of Nate if given the opportunity. Still, as much as the series won't be the same without Meester, Crawford, Blake Lively, or some of the other main characters from before, featuring Bell's voice as the narrator was particularly important.
Given an initial 10-episode order, the Gossip Girl HBO Max sequel series is written by former showrunner Josh Safran. Additionally, Safran will be executive producing alongside Schwartz and Savage. It's also been confirmed the show will not be a remake or reboot, instead serving as a continuation of the original series and set eight years after the original "website" went dark. This time, the story follows a new group of teenagers attending a private school in New York who are introduced to the social surveillance of the titular "Gossip Girl." In particular, the series will focus on just how much social media has changed in the years since, along with the landscape of New York.
Bell's Gossip Girl signing comes at a good time, as the actress has just finished production on the final season of the popular series The Good Place. Kristen Bell will also have her voice heard in what's guaranteed to be a blockbuster hit when Disney's animated sequel Frozen 2 premieres in theaters. Alongside Idina Menzel as Elsa, Bell will be reprising the role of Princess Anna. Additionally, Bell has recently returned to another one of her major roles from years past by starring in the Hulu revival of Veronica Mars. She will also lend her voice to the Apple comedy Central Park and hosts & executive produces the unscripted Disney+ series Encore.
No premiere date for the Gossip Girl revival series has yet been set, but the streaming service HBO Max will go live in May 2020. As the streaming wars continue to heat up, it will be interesting to see which other classic shows will be revived exclusively on the WarnerMedia streaming service. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.