The series adaptation of the 1999 hit movie Cruel Intentions is finally here after two years in development, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Amazon's Prime Video has given the order for an eight-episode series which serves as an update to the film. The movie Cruel Intentions is based on the classic French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos – set in the modern age. The upcoming series was originally set for Amazon's ad-supported Freevee, but will now move to Prime Video (which will begin rolling out ads in 2024).
Cruel Intentions on Prime
Amazon MGM Studios' head of AVOD original, unscripted and targeted programming Lauren Anderson said, “From the ‘90s cult-classic film to the 18th century novel from which it was adapted, Cruel Intentions has captivated audiences with a story that transcends time.”
“We are beyond thrilled to share the next chapter of Cruel Intentions’ intriguing interplay of deception, wit, and reckoning with Prime customers and couldn’t be more appreciative of the commitment, dedication, and talent from this entire team – our incredible cast, endlessly clever writers, led by Phoebe and Sara, our fantastic partners at Sony and Original Film, and the executives that led the way at Amazon MGM Studios,” she continued.
The series will star Sarah Catherine Hook, Zac Burgess, Savannah Lee Smith, Sara Silva, Khobe Clarke, John Harlan Kim, Brooke Lena Johnson and Sean Patrick Thomas. Thomas played music teacher Ronald Clifford in the 1999 movie, but will be playing a different role in the series. Claire Forlani, Nikki Crawford, Isabella Tagliati, Zeke Goodman and Jon Tenney will also star in recurring roles.
Writers and executive producers Sara Goodman and Phoebe Fisher said in a statement, “We are so excited to get to work together to continue the legacy of Cruel Intentions, a film that remains beloved by so many — including us!”
“We promise to make this next iteration as fun, irreverent, and boundary-pushing as the original, and are grateful to our partners at Original Film, Sony, and Amazon MGM Studios for trusting us to keep it Cruel,” they added.
Cruel Intentions 10.0?
Prime Video's iteration is the third attempt to adapt the story into a series. After the film was released, Fox ordered the spinoff Manchester Prep, based on the school the characters attended, but ended up scrapping it before it even aired. Two of the show's episodes were re-edited and became the straight-to-video movie Cruel Intentions 2.
While this is the first time Les Liaisons Dangereuses will be adapted as a series, there have been a number of film adaptation since Roger Vadim's 1959 film starring Jeanne Moreau and Gérard Philipe. Two more French adaptation were made: a loose retelling from Vadim in 1976 and the most recent one in 2022.
The 1988 film starred Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman in 18th century garb. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Picture.
In 1989, there was the film Valmont which starred Annette Bening, Colin Firth and Megan Tilly. Ten years later came the 1999 film which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Philippe, Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair.
There have been two Asian adaptation of the story as well. South Korea's 2003 Untold Scandal was set in the 18th century during the Joseon dynasty. China's 2012 Dangerous Liaisons was set in 1930s Shanghai.
Dangerous Liaisons follows the story of wealthy New Yorker Katherine Merteuil (originally Marquise de Merteuil; Gellar in the 1999 film) who makes a bet with her stepbrother Sebastian Valmont (originally her lover, Vicomte de Valmont; played by Philippe) to corrupt the innocent transferee Annette Hargrove (based on Madame de Tourvel; Witherspoon). Katherine is also tasked to befriend the naive Cecile Caldwell (Cécile de Volanges; Blair).
The two play a cat-and-mouse game of seduction (of each other and those around them) and end up destroying each other.
The Prime Video series is set to be an update of the 1999 movie, more likely geared towards a more social media-conscious era.