Sun | Dec 15, 2019

Diversity to colour ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot

Published:Wednesday | November 13, 2019 | 12:26 AM
Kristen Bell

The Gossip Girl reboot will feature “non-white leads” and have “a lot of queer content”.

In July, it was confirmed that the hit HBO show’s creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage had struck up a deal with the new streaming service HBO Max, seven years after the original series ended, for 10 one-hour episodes for a new generation of teen viewers.

And now, Joshua Safran – who helped write and executive produce the original series – has revealed they have signed a much more diverse cast in the revival so that the show reflects the world now, and he also teased it will provide a huge “twist” to the storyline.

Speaking at Vulture Festival, Safran said: “There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show.

“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 non-white.

“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.”

The original series, adapted from the books by Cecily von Ziegesar, ran from 2007 to 2012.

It featured a salacious mix of intrigue and romance among a group of privileged teens in high-society New York, all narrated by the mysterious blogger Gossip Girl.

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The original starred Blake Lively, Taylor Momsen, Leighton Meester, and Ed Westwick.

Frozen star Kristen Bell supplied the voice of the anonymous Gossip Girl, who was revealed in the series finale to be Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley).

Bell is reprising her role as the narrator in the reboot, which is set 12 to 13 years after the original series, and she is “thrilled”.

She told Variety: “They just said, ‘We’ve got really good news. It’s looking like we’re going to do another version of Gossip Girl and we would love for you to return.’

“I was thrilled because … it was a very easy job for me.

“I got to come in and play around.”

The reboot is expected to launch on HBO Max in 2020.