In the early 2000s teen soap opera Gossip Girl, a group of privileged high school students navigated a tangled web of sex, drama, and secrets in the sprawling Upper East Side of New York City. That same story will return to television eight years later, with a younger cast and a new spin on a totally different television network. Get ready for Gossip Girl 2.0, y’all.
The reboot, which will air on new streaming service HBO Max, is currently building its ensemble cast, and Variety reports that actress Emily Alyn Lind is among the first to officially join the ranks of the sequel series. Lind, who will play an unspecified lead role in the developing show, has been acting since 2008; the teenager’s acting credits include roles in The Secret Life of Bees, J. Edgar, All My Children, and the recent Facebook Watch series Sacred Lies.
In the new Gossip Girl series, the stars of the show will play teenagers attending the same ring of elite private schools in Manhattan, but their characters will face a set of problems that Serena Van Der Woodsen and Chuck Bass never had to deal with back in the day. The series will reportedly focus on Gen Z's relationship with social media, a concept that hadn't fully been fleshed out in the OG show — the youths are flourishing on Instagram and TikTok now.
Though the minds behind the reboot are still keeping its details under wraps, we do know that Lind will likely be starring alongside a cast composed mostly of young people of color. While the original lacked appropriate representation on many fronts, writer and executive producer Joshua Safran guarantees that this show's cast will more accurately reflect the landscape of New York City.
"There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show," Safran admitted at last year's Vulture Festival. "This time around, the leads are nonwhite. It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that."
Lind is the second name to join the series. In November, Kristen Bell signed on to reprise her role as Gossip Girl's all-seeing narrator. Other OGs from the show have said that they would be down to make a cameo as well; Chace Crawford is into it, and Sebastian Stan (who played Serena's ex-boyfriend Carter Bazien) even teased the probability of an appearance on the HBO Max project. "I’m not gonna be the asshole that says no," he told Refinery29 last year. "Maybe I’ll be in the background scooping some ice cream."
The new Gossip Girl is still a work in progress, but it's already promising to be an even more textured take on the classic story of wealth and privilege on the Upper East Side. I'm in.