HBO Max’s upcoming Gossip Girl reboot is rumored to be set in the same universe as the CW original, but will have a a bigger focus on more diverse characters instead. Original executive producer Joshua Safran confirmed the news through an interview with Vulture magazine.
Safran is also set to serve as show-runner for the quasi-reboot and has acknowledged that “there was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show.” Which was exacerbated, by being the only gay writer the entire time Safran wrote for the show was eye-opening experience for the executive producer and didn’t fit into his real life experiences of going to a New York private school in during the ’90s.
The original series was narrated by an omniscient blogger with the moniker “Gossip Girl” and revolved around the lives of a group of privileged upper-class adolescents who lived in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The series’ main focus was Serena van der Woodsen played by a young Blake Lively, and her friends.
At the start of the series she reunites with her frenemy Blair Waldorf, played by Leighton Meester, and her mother Lily van der Woodsen, played by Kelly Rutherford— throughout the shows run she also grows closer to an aspiring writer named Dan Humphrey who is played by Penn Badgley. Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, Taylor Momsen, Jessica Szohr, Matthew Settle and Kaylee DeFer al rounded out the series’ supporting cast.
Keeping with tradition, the new series will be narrated by Kristen Bell again, with Safran promising “this time around the leads [will be] nonwhite.” He adds: “There [will also be] a lot of queer content on this show. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that.”
The seasoned writer also teased that “a twist” will kick off the series, while confirming that upcoming series’ new students will attend the same Constance Billard School for Girls, but in modern day. “It is 12 years, I guess 13 years after the original,” commented Safran. “So we are in realtime from the original where we are in the show.”