Cruel Intentions, the cult 1999 movie starring Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar, is getting a TV update. NBC has given a script plus penalty commitment to Cruel Intentions, a drama series, which tells the story of Bash Casey, the son of the characters played in the film by Phillippe and Witherspoon.
The project comes from the film’s writer-director Roger Kumble and producer Neal H. Moritz as well as Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross, the duo behind the The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions, whose staging at Los Angeles’ Rockwell Table & Stage in May generated buzz and drew Kumble, Witherspoon, Gellar and co-star Selma Blair who all attended. Kumble gave Rosin and Rosshis blessing for the musical and had stayed in touch with the duo since.
Set in present day, Cruel Intentions follows the rags-to-riches story of 16-year-old Bash Casey, the son of the late Sebastian Valmont (played by Phillippe) and Annette Hargrove (Witherspoon). Upon finding his late father’s journal, Bash learns of the family legacy he didn’t know existed. In search of answers, he trades his small-town Kansas upbringing for a scholarship to the prestigious Brighton Preparatory Academy in San Francisco and soon finds himself in a world of sex, money, power, and corruption he never could have imagined.
Kumble, whose Cruel Intentions feature screenplay was based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos, will write the TV script with Rosin and Ross. Kumble, who has been working as a TV episodic director for the past five years, also is set to helm the potential pilot. He executive produces with Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film through the company’s overall deal at Sony TV; Rosin and Ross co-executive produce.
Sony Pictures TV, whose sibling Columbia Pictures produced the movie with Moritz’s Original Film, is producing the TV adaptation alongside Original Film and AMBI.
The 1999 movie was a boxoffice success, grossing $75 million on a $10.5 million budget and helped establish the careers of its young stars.
Original is producing with Sony TV comic book adaptation Preacher, which has been picked up to series by AMC, and is developing Roadside Picnic, a series adaptation of the Strugatsky brothers’ sci-fi novel at WGN America.
Following the success of their Cruel Intentions musical, which held 38 sold-out performances, Rosin and her producing partner Ross also wrote and staged an Unauthorized OC Musical this past summer. Rosin and Ross are repped by ICM Partners, Rosin is managed by Underground. Kumble is with UTA.
Cruel Intentions is the latest movie remake in the works this TV development season, joining three other projects from Sony TV: My Best Friend’s Wedding at ABC, Think Like A Man at Fox and In The Line Of Fire at NBC. Additionally, NBC gave a series order to Taken, Fox has a Lethal Weapon and Behind Enemy Lines series in the works, CBS is developing Training Day, and the CW has The Notebook.