Just leave Cruel Intentions alone.
Apparently, after years and years of the thwarted desires of…someone or other…an “updated take” on the perfect 1999 film Cruel Intentions (based, of course, on Dangerous Liaisons (Les Liaisons dangereuses) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, which is why I get to talk about it here) has been picked up to series at Amazon Freevee.
In this new version, “two ruthless step siblings will do anything to stay on top. In this case, of the Greek life hierarchy at an elite Washington, D.C. college. After a brutal hazing incident threatens the entire Panhellenic system, they’ll do whatever’s necessary to preserve their power and reputations—even seduce the daughter of the Vice President of the United States.”
As everyone else has pointed out, this comes after multiple attempts and failures (one of which brought us Cruel Intentions 2, woof) to reboot the cult film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a brunette, and also Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Selma Blair.
Maybe that’s because it doesn’t need a reboot. After all, the corporate urge to remake already perfect IP (or at least cult IP beloved by Millennials) rarely goes well. You saw what happened to the Gossip Girl reboot—not to mention the attempt on the life of Heathers, the scrapped Degrassi, and the deeply terrible Jem and the Holograms. Even High Fidelity, which was actually pretty good, was swiftly cancelled. And let’s not forget the other two recent adaptations of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s book.
The only winner in this category (that I can think of right now) is Cobra Kai, and maybe this new Cruel Intentions will also be good. But probably not! (I know I can just not watch it, but every bad show takes the spot of a potentially good show, and every recycled story takes up space that could be used for a new story, and I am in favor of new, good television.) Either way, I’ll be holding on to my DVD of the original.