Karena Evans (God’s Plan, Nice For What) is attached to direct the first two episodes of HBO Max‘s Gossip Girl reboot, according to Shadow and Act. The 24-year old Canadian has made a name for herself as an actress and director across television and the music industry.
“I couldn’t be more excited for Karena to launch the new series,” writer and executive producer, Joshua Safran, said via Shadow and Act. “Her vision, voice, and passion are incomparable. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to work with her, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what she has planned,” Safran said via Shadow and Act.
According to Shadow and Act, Evans grew to notoriety in 2018 after directing three music videos for hip-hop artist Drake (Nothing Was The Same, Degrassi). This opened the door for other opportunities, including a starring role in the film Firecrackers. Evans entered directing TV last year as she helmed an episode of Starz’s hit series P-Valley. She has also directed an episode for the fourth season of FX’s Snowfall.
“Josh Safran has found a perfect partner in Karena to illustrate how the landscape of social media, the upper east side, and the world have changed since ‘Gossip Girl’ premiered 13 years ago,” Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max said via Shadow and Act. “Additionally, her passion for inclusive storytelling matches Josh’s and we are proud to have her on this journey with us,” Aubrey said according to Shadow and Act.
According to Shadow and Act, this version of the original CW series follows a new set of teenagers attending a private school in New York. In addition to the usual teen drama of high school, the characters will have to endure the added conundrum of social media. The diverse cast includes Whitney Peak (Mollys Game, Home Before Dark), Emily Alyn Lind (Code Black, Doctor Sleep), Savannah Smith, Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said, Scream Queens), Eli Brown (Spinning Out, Run Hide Fight), Johnathan Fernandez (Lethal Weapon Girls), Jason Gotay (Love Life, Good Morning Texas), Thomas Doherty (The Lodge, High Fidelity), Adam Chanler-Berat (Delivery Man, It Could Be Worse), and Zion Moreno (Control Z, K-12).