If you were highly invested in the affluent teen lives of Gossip Girl, then get ready for some diversity thrown into the mix for the upcoming reboot.
According to a Vulture interview with Joshua Safran, who wrote and executive produced on the original CW show, the reboot will feature people of color leads. At first, Safran wasn’t interested in a reboot, but after reframing the show in his mind he signed on with the original creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage to get the project going.
Safran refrained from giving storyline details but he did say he wanted to revisit the Upper East Side teen life today versus when Gossip Girl first premiered in 2007. He also said he wanted to more accurately portray the diverse demographics of New York teen life:
“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 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.”
The original CW series made stars out of actors like Kristen Bell, Blake Lively, Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford. However, all of the lead cast was white and if a person of color ever did make it to screen, it was for a supporting, guest-like role.
The casting choses for the reboot already proves that audiences will be getting a very different series, but hopefully with the same juicy drama from the original. Safran assured fans that the reboot will take place in the same universe as the original and the students will attend the Constance Billard School for Girls. “It is 12 years, I guess 13 years after the original. So we are in realtime from the original where we are in the show,” Safran said. You can watch the reimagined Gossip Girl on the streaming service HBO Max, which launches in May 2020. Until then, watch Safran explain the upcoming reboot more in the clip below.