[penn badgley blake lively]Why the original ‘Gossip Girl’ cast isn’t coming back for the reboot any time soon
Don’t expect Serena van der Woodsen back at Constance Billard.
Even though the new “Gossip Girl” reboot, premiering Thursday on HBO Max, exists in the same universe as the beloved teen classic, its creators are doing their best to let the new characters make their mark.
“We made a decision early on to not bring back the original cast members without being able to give them enough of a story,” showrunner and creator Joshua Safran, who was also an executive producer on the original, told the Daily News.
“Because we’re establishing all these new people, if you brought Blair back right now, she’d have like two scenes and you’d feel shortchanged.”
But that doesn’t mean the new “Gossip Girl” exists outside the original: Executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage promised plenty of Easter eggs for returning fans, but not so many that new viewers will feel overwhelmed.
They also swore to give updates on the original characters — Serena (Blake Lively), Blair (Leighton Meester), Dan (Penn Badgley), Nate (Chace Crawford) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) — where it feels natural for the story.
“For us, it was really about how do we take the original ‘Gossip Girl,’ which we felt very protective of as custodians of the brand of what makes ‘Gossip Girl’ ‘Gossip Girl,’ and how do we bring it into 2021 so it feels reflective of what people enjoyed about the (old) show and also feels new and unique and relevant,” Schwartz told The News.
Despite its 2021 update, “Gossip Girl” still looks the same, albeit more diverse: The lifestyles of the rich and famous in Manhattan transcend pop culture.
For Safran, that made his job easier since he doesn’t have to introduce viewers to this world — the excess is everywhere.
“The world has shifted so much … on TikTok and Instagram you can see influencers living their lives every day in these worlds, so we all have a quicker facility of this world than we did in 2007, when it really was lifting up the hood of something you hadn’t really seen on television before, these teens from this incredibly rarefied rich world,” he told The News.
“It isn’t just that the universe existed before but also that we are able to see inside these worlds in ways we haven’t.”
Safran teased the returns of some supporting characters, but said he’s not strictly ruling out Nate or Serena if the actors want to come back. For now, he’s focused on his new generation of teenagers.
“The goal was to really understand and get these people before bringing in old characters.”