Poster for the original 1999 film "Cruel Intentions" Source: Columbia Pictures

Will 'Cruel Intentions,' the Series, Echo the Bisexual Aspects of the Movie?

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

With "Cruel Intentions" coming to the small screen 24 years after its 1999 big-screen debut, the question looms: Will the TV version, like the movie, include some LGBTQ+ content?

That's the question posed by an essay on Autostraddle, where a same-sex kiss between stars Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar was recalled and celebrated.

A similar moment was shared by Gellar and Nathalie Kelley when the two starred in a 2015 pilot for a proposed series that would have served as a sequel to the film. That series, rejected by NBC, never saw the light of day – though, Autostraddle noted, footage of the kiss between Gellar and Kelley did circulate on social media.

The Hollywood Reporter covered the news of the series being announced for Amazon Prime Video as an eight-episode "update" of the film. THR further explained that the movie and upcoming series are adapted from the classic French potboiler "Les Liaisons dangereuses," with the aristocratic social maneuvers and sexual hijinks relocated to "a prestigious university in Washington, D.C."

"Sarah Catherine Hook, Zac Burgess, Savannah Lee Smith, Sara Silva, Khobe Clarke, John Harlan Kim, Brooke Lena Johnson and Sean Patrick Thomas star," THR said. "Thomas also appeared in the 1999 movie but is playing a different character in the series."

"The series, from writers and executive producers Sara Goodman and Phoebe Fisher (Prime Video's 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' update) was initially developed for Amazon's ad-supported streamer Freevee (or IMDb TV, as it was previously called) but will now run on Prime Video (which is itself rolling out ads next year)," THR detailed.

In a statement, the executive producers declared, "We are so excited to get to work together to continue the legacy of 'Cruel Intentions,'" and vowed "to make this next iteration as fun, irreverent, and boundary-pushing as the original..."

That sounds promising, but consider, too, the series logline Autostraddle quoted, which sounds like a virtual carbon copy of the film. "The new show is described to take place 'at an elite Washington, D.C. college, where two ruthless step-siblings will do anything to stay on top of the cutthroat social hierarchy,'" the article recounted. "Furthermore: 'After a brutal hazing incident threatens the entire Panhellenic system at their school, they'll do whatever is necessary to preserve their power and reputation, even if that means seducing the daughter of the vice president of the United States.'"

In the movie, of course, the step-siblings were played by Gellar and Ryan Phillippe, whose targets – one of them the daughter of the school's headmaster – was somewhat less lofty than the vice president's daughter.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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