ENTERTAINMENT
12/11/2019 4:09 PM AEDT

'Gossip Girl' Reboot Will Be Less White, More LGBTQ, But Just As Twisty

The HBO Max reboot is getting a much-needed update with "nonwhite leads" and “a lot of queer content.”

Here’s some gossip to chew on: HBO Max’s forthcoming reboot of “Gossip Girl” will actually reflect the diversity of the city it’s set in. 

The next chapter, centred around a new crop of elite New York City teens, received a 10-episode, straight-to-series order from WarnerMedia’s new streaming service this summer. 

And if the reboot is anything like its predecessor, these Upper East Siders will be blowing off class, owning nightclubs by junior year and confessing to murder in no time. 

But a key difference in the reboot will be the makeup of the cast. Showrunner Joshua Safran revealed that not only will the leads of the series be nonwhite, but there will be “a lot of queer content” in the new iteration. 

“There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” Safran said at the Vulture Festival in Los Angeles over the weekend. “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.

He went on to add that there’s a twist to all these new elements of the series but stopped short of spoiling too much. 

The new characters will, however, still walk the halls of the Constance Billard School for Girls, following in the footsteps of Blake Lively’s Serena van der Woodsen and Leighton Meester’s Blair Waldorf. 

“It is 12 years, I guess 13 years after the original. So we are in real time from the original where we are in the show,” Safran added.  

Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen and Ed Westwick attend the "Gossip Girl" premiere in 2007.

The reboot will explore how the proliferation of social media affects the high schoolers of today, given how much has changed since the CW drama signed off after six seasons in 2012.

“Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl,” the series logline reads. “The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.”

Casting details are being kept under wraps, but we do know that Kristen Bell is set to return as the omnipresent narrator, cattily informing the audience once again about everybody’s sure-to-be sordid extracurriculars. 

While there’s no word on who else will participate in the reboot ― series creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are on board to executive produce ― Chace Craword, who played Nate Archibald, expressed some interest.

“I’d play a dad now, I guess!” Crawford said about reprising his role in a recent interview. “No, I have no idea. I just love Josh and Stephanie and if they wanted me to come and do anything it would be hard to say no. I’m always grateful for the opportunity they gave me and that whole experience — it was all of my 20s, it was like my college, living in New York for that time. I’ll always have fond memories of it.”

A premiere date for the “Gossip Girl” reboot has yet to be announced, but HBO Max is set to launch in May 2020.