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‘Cruel Intentions’ Series Finally a Go at Amazon

The tech giant’s Prime Video has formally picked up a series based on the 1999 movie.

Selma Blair, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar in CRUEL INTENTIONS, 1999.

“Cruel Intentions” Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

A generation after Cruel Intentions hit theaters, and after several starts and stops to adapting the film for TV, a series based on the 1999 movie is officially happening.

Amazon‘s Prime Video has given a series order to the project, which has been in development for two years. The eight-episode series will serve as an update to the movie — which itself is based on the classic French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses — set at a prestigious university in Washington, D.C. 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).

Sony Pictures Television, Amazon MGM Studios and Original Film are producing. Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Original backed the 1999 movie.

“From the ‘90s cult-classic film to the 18th century novel from which it was adapted, Cruel Intentions has captivated audiences with a story that transcends time,” said Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD originals, unscripted and targeted programming at Amazon MGM Studios. “We are beyond thrilled to share the next chapter of Cruel Intentions’ intriguing interplay of deception, wit, and reckoning with Prime customers and couldn’t be more appreciative of the commitment, dedication, and talent from this entire team – our incredible cast, endlessly clever writers, led by Phoebe and Sara, our fantastic partners at Sony and Original Film, and the executives that led the way at Amazon MGM Studios.”

Sarah Catherine Hook, Zac Burgess, Savannah Lee Smith, Sara Silva, Khobe Clarke, John Harlan Kim , Brooke Lena Johnson and Sean Patrick Thomas star (Thomas also appeared in the 1999 movie but is playing a different character in the series). Claire Forlani, Nikki Crawford, Isabella Tagliati, Zeke Goodman and Jon Tenney will have recurring roles.

“We are so excited to get to work together to continue the legacy of Cruel Intentions, a film that remains beloved by so many — including us!“ Goodman and Fisher said in a statement. “We promise to make this next iteration as fun, irreverent, and boundary-pushing as the original, and are grateful to our partners at Original Film, Sony, and Amazon MGM Studios for trusting us to keep it Cruel.”

The Prime Video series is at least the third attempt to adapt Cruel Intentions for TV. Following the movie’s release, Fox ordered a spinoff series titled Manchester Prep — then scrapped it before it aired. Two completed episodes were re-edited (and some racier footage added) into the straight-to-video feature Cruel Intentions 2.

NBC took a run at a Cruel Intentions series in 2015, developing a sequel set 15 years after the film that had Sarah Michelle Gellar reprising her role as Kathryn Merteuil. The network eventually passed on the show, which Gellar later said she was grateful for: “Nothing against NBC, but Cruel Intentions is straight streaming,” she said in a 2022 interview. “On the first day, I was like, ‘This isn’t working.’ It’s just not a network show.”

Goodman and Fisher executive produce Cruel Intentions with Neal H. Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film and the movie’s writer-director, Roger Kumble.

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