The WanerMedia streaming platform has cast five actors — Whitney Peak, Eli Brown, Emily Alyn Lind, Johnathan Fernandez and Jason Gotay — as the first on-camera members of the ensemble. Kristen Bell will also reprise her role from the 2007-12 CW series as the narrator and voice of Gossip Girl.
Lind (CBS’ Code Black, Doctor Sleep) will play a character named Audrey, who is in a long-term relationship and is beginning to wonder what else might be out there. Other character details are being kept under wraps at the moment.
HBO Max gave a straight-to-series order to Gossip Girl in July 2019. Picking up eight years after the original, the 10-episode series will follow a new generation of New York private-school teens who are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.
Joshua Safran, a writer and executive producer on the original series, will serve as showrunner for the HBO Max effort. Creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are also exec producing via their Fake Empire banner, along with Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo of Alloy Entertainment. Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski is a co-EP. Warner Bros. TV produces with Fake Empire and Alloy Entertainment.
“It’s just a new look at this particular society in New York, the idea being that society changes constantly,” Safran told The Hollywood Reporter when the series was announced. “So how has this world changed, how has social media and its effect changed? All of those things allow us to look at the world 12 years on [from the original’s debut] as opposed to just redoing the story. None of us are interested in just redoing a story.”
Peak (Molly’s Game, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) is repped by Play Management, Thruline Entertainment and Jackoway Austen. Brown (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, The F*ck-It List) is with Gersh and 11:11 Entertainment. Lind is repped by ICM Partners, Coast to Coast Talent Agency and Breechen Feldman. Fernandez (Fox’s Lethal Weapon) is with Innovative Artists, Edna Cowan Management and Felker Toczek. Gotay (Bring It On on Broadway, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) is with Artists & Representatives and Schachter Entertainment.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch in May and plans to roll out 31 original series in its first year alongside thousands of hours of library content from WarnerMedia properties, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and South Park, among many others.