The actress, who recurs on Riverdale as Ethel Muggs, will star in new Netflix original Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, which Deadline reports is a modern-day retelling of the play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. In the play, the titular Cyrano, a not-so-conventionally-attractive wordsmith, helps the hot Christian woo Roxane, whom Cyrano is also in love with. Cyrano protects the secret until his death from a falling log. (It's all very dramatic.)
Whether or not you read the 1897 text in high school, you know the general plot — the Cyrano story has been used over and over again in pop culture. The 1987 film Roxanne starred Steve Martin as a version of Cyrano, complete with a prosthetic nose. The sitcom Boy Meets World borrowed the plot for its season 2 episode "Cyrano." The 2012 Disney Channel movie Let It Shine tells a similar story, with a shy musician handing over his love raps to his BFF so that his friend can earn the affection of their shared dream girl.
As for Sierra Burgess Is A Loser, this version of Cyrano de Bergerac will feel very 2018. According to Deadline, Purser will play the titular Sierra, a person who has "never concerned herself with being cool or hot." When Sierra finds herself in a texting-only relationship with her crush, she enlists the help of the popular Kristine (like Christian, get it?) in order to keep the digital romance going.
From the description, it sounds like Kristine will be the one taking on the role that Cyrano did in the original play, which would be a neat twist on a popular story. It also sounds like the two women might not be fighting over a boy, after all: Per the Deadline report, Sierra Burgess is "a female-empowerment film that takes on bullying, confidence and identity in the digital age."
Purser took to Twitter to share her excitement:
"Last year I had the privilege of starring in a movie called "Sierra Burgess Is A Loser." It was one of the most fulfilling and challenging experiences of my life. I'm so excited to announce that it is now a @netflix original!!"
This Is Us star Chrissy Metz and Switched at Birth actress Lea Thompson will also star in the upcoming film.
Sierra Burgess Is A Loser might tell a familiar tale, but at least it's doing so in an entirely new way.