'Jawbreaker' TV Series in the Works at E!

The drama, which is in development, hails from the writer-director behind the 1999 feature film.
Courtesy of Photofest
'Jawbreaker' (1999)

E! is looking to a cult black-comedy feature film for its next scripted series.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has put into development a reboot of the 1999 movie Jawbreaker, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The E! take is described a wild reimagining of the teen cult classic set in the fame-obsessed world of Beverly Hills. The adaptation follows a new clique whose world is rocked by an accidental murder at a bachelorette party. The incident sets in motion an audacious, juicy soap in which the women will go to great lengths to keep their secret hidden.

Feature film writer-director Darren Stein is on board to pen the script for the drama. The project hails from Sony Pictures Television, whose film sibling Tristar Pictures distributed the original. (Should Jawbreaker move to series, NBCU's Universal Cable Productions would board the show as a co-producer.)

Jawbreaker starred Rose McGowan, Julie Benz, Rebecca Gayheart and Charlotte Ayanna as a clique called the "Flawless Four," the most popular girls at Reagan High in Los Angeles. Ayanna's Liz is surprised on the morning of her 17th birthday by her friends, who shove a jawbreaker into her mouth and kidnap her as part of a prank to take her to breakfast. Only she dies in the process, creating the drama that ensues. Judy Greer, Carol Kane and Pam Grier co-starred in the original, which grossed $3.1 million on a budget of $3.5 million. The film, which was considered one of the worst to debut in 1999, went on to gain a cult following for its Mean Girls- and Heathers-like comedy.

Stein and George Northy (MTV's Faking It) will pen the script together and executive produce. Jawbreaker reunites Stein with G.B.F. writer Northy. Stein is repped by APA and Untitled.

Jawbreaker arrives as E! is looking to expand its scripted roster beyond The Royals, its first scripted series, and the forthcoming The Arrangement, the latter of whic is set to bow March 5.

Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers involved in some capacity — which Jawbreaker has with Sony TV and Stein — as more studios look to monetize their existing film and TV libraries.