- A Gossip Girl reboot is officially happening.
- It will stream on HBO Max.
- No word yet on which original cast members, if any, will return to the show—but filming has begun with a new crop of actors.
Listen up, Upper East Siders: It's time to grab your plaid kilts and yogurt cups. HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot is officially happening. The show acts as a continuation of the hit teen soap that ran from 2007 to 2012 and catapulted its cast, including Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, and Penn Badgley, to stardom. While there's no word yet on when the reboot will air, fans got their first taste of the new show when paparazzi caught the new crop of actors filming in Manhattan at—where else?—the iconic Met steps.
Here's everything we know about the Gossip Girl reboot.
When does the Gossip Girl reboot premiere?
For now, HBO Max has only revealed that the show is headed to streaming platforms in 2021. Production was severely delayed due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, but it looks like the cast was able to safely begin filming in late fall 2020. Cast member Emily Alyn Lind shared a snap to her social media of her in a hair and makeup trailer on October 26; she captioned the pic, "Day 1."
Paparazzi were also able to capture some of the cast members in character, gathering on the same Met steps that Serena and Blair made so famous in the late-aughts.
Who's in the Gossip Girl reboot cast?
Spotted: Emily Alyn Lind. Lind, best known as Ariel Braeden from CBS' Code Black, has nabbed a starring role on HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot. Lind will play Audrey, who, according to Deadline, "has been in a long-term relationship and is beginning to wonder what more could be out there." While Lind's blonde hair would make her a natural fit to play Serena 2.0, her character's description and name—clearly inspired by Blair Waldorf's favorite film, Breakfast at Tiffany's—would seem to suggest Lind is the reboot's version of Queen B. Hope you enjoy headbands, Emily.
HBO Max also announced several other names joining the cast. Whitney Peak (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Eli Brown (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists) will reportedly round out the show's main trio, per Deadline, while Johnathan Fernandez (Lethal Weapon) and Jason Gotay (Broadway's Evita) will be part of the core ensemble.
On March 11, HBO Max announced that fashion wunderkind Tavi Gevinson would also be joining the reboot's cast in a leading role. Gevinson is best known for her style blog that blossomed into a fully-fledged magazine, Rookie, by the time she was 15. No other details about Gevinson's character have been released, but her real-life success in the fashion and media industry at a young age makes her perfect to riff on the original show's Jenny, who had a similarly meteoric (yet destructive) rise to popularity.
Deadline also reports that Thomas Doherty, Adam Chanler-Berat. and Zion Moreno will be joining the cast. And early filming pictures also confirmed that newcomer and current NYU student Savannah Smith, Canadian singer and actress Jordan Alexander, and model Evan Mock are also part of the reboot.
What will the Gossip Girl reboot be about?
"Like the original series, the new iteration of Gossip Girl, written by [Joshua] Safran, is based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar," per Deadline. "The logline: Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years."
In early November it was announced that Karena Evans has been tapped to direct the first two episodes of the reboot.
While specifics about the script haven't been revealed yet, one of the show's original writers and exec producers, Joshua Safran, tweeted about that his script was coming along well—like, really well. "Blair walked so this could run!" he penned on Twitter in April.
And while many of the show's execs have promised that the familiar DNA of Gossip Girl that made it beloved will remain—like the students still attending Constance Billard and St. Jude's—the show is also making plenty of much-needed updates to keep up with 2020.
"It really looks at how social media has changed," Safran told ET. "You know, the first time around, when the show started people were, like, checking in places on Foursquare and updating their locations on Facebook. Things we would never do now because we don't want anyone to know where we are. That change alone changes the dynamic of what Gossip Girl means and how Gossip Girl interacts with the kids this day and age, so I think it's gonna be really interesting to see."
And in a November 2019 interview at Vulture Festival, Safran addressed the strides the show was taking to be more inclusive and diverse.
“There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” he admitted. “I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s 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 thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist.”
How many episodes will the Gossip Girl reboot have?
So far, only 10 episodes have been ordered. But considering the original show was on air for five years, expect more if fans are as invested in the new generation of private school elites as they were in the OG cast.
Will the original Gossip Girl cast be in the reboot?
In 2019, Josh Schwartz, who developed the original Gossip Girl series for The CW and who is returning to work on the reboot alongside co-creator Stephanie Savage, spoke about the possibility of original stars like Lively, Meester, Badgley, and Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford, returning for GG 2.0. And what he has to say was hopeful, at least.
"We've reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening and we'd love for them to be involved if they want to be involved, but certainly didn't want to make it contingent upon [them being involved]," Schwartz said at the time. "They played these characters for six years, and if they felt like they were good with that, we want to respect that, but obviously...it would be great to see them again."
He also addressed why the rebooted version of the series will focus on a new class of Upper East Siders, instead of following the adult versions of the characters fans had already come to love. "We felt that a version with our cast grown up, regardless of what the challenges would be of assembling those actors again, it didn't really feel like a group of adults that would be patrolled by Gossip Girl would make a lot of sense," he said.
While many of the original actors have basically said "thanks but no thanks" to returning—and Lively is still scratching her head about the original's series finale—Kristen Bell, the voice of Gossip Girl and the show's cheeky narrator, will be returning to the show. "Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of 'Gossip Girl,'" the show’s producers said in a statement obtained by The Wrap in November 2019."
Whether or not the OG actors return, their characters still have a place in the show. Executive producer Joshua Safran explained to Entertainment Tonight: "The universe still exists. The characters talk about Serena, Blair, Chuck, Dan."
Fans will also be happy to hear that the show won't just sound like the original but have the same glitzy aesthetic thanks to the return of costume designer Eric Daman. "OMGG I am sooo thrilled to be a part of the new GG Generation!" Daman said in a statement to Teen Vogue. "It has been incredible to see the youth of today discovering and bingeing GG during these times!! Very excited to delight and inspire all of the GG Fans, new and OG, with some delicious, trendsetting fashions for this new era! Can’t Wait!! XoXo, E."
Bookmark this page for ongoing updates about the Gossip Girl reboot and the involvement of the show's original cast.