Cruel Intentions Series News & Update: Why Sarah Michelle Gellar Was Against Airing the Pilot

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Sarah Michelle Gellar explains why she is relieved that the planned Cruel Intentions series did not materialize.

There had been a planned NBC series that would have acted as a continuation of the first film, with Gellar reprising her role as Kathryn. However, it was revealed in 2016, about a year after the project was publicly announced, that the Cruel Intentions series would not be continuing further.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is 'Grateful' Cruel Intentions Series Got Called Off

During a lengthy interview with The New York Times, Gellar was asked about NBC's discontinued Cruel Intentions pilot. The actress responds candidly, stating that the pilot wasn't going in the direction she desired.

Since NBC is a broadcast network and hence constrained in the kind of content it could run, as implied by Gellar, the series would not have been true to the racy spirit of the 1999 film.

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"Nothing against NBC, but Cruel Intentions is straight streaming. On the first day, I was like, 'This isn't working,'" the actress explained. "It's just not a network show. And if it is a network show, it's not my Cruel Intentions. So, I was actually grateful."

It's not surprising that there have been attempts to create a Cruel Intentions series, given its impact at the time and in the years since. Gellar's second most famous performance, after her part as vampire-slaying Buffy Summers, is undoubtedly her starring portrayal as the hostile Kathryn Merteuil in the salacious teen drama Cruel Intentions.

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The narrative of privileged high school students, written and directed by Roger Kumble and starring Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, and Ryan Phillippe, has garnered cult status since its premiere in 1999. It also did well at the box office, grossing more than $75 million worldwide despite having an estimated budget of under $10.5 million.

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Too Provocative for TV

It's undeniable that situations that are very deliberately portrayed as provocative play a part in Cruel Intentions' attractiveness. The most famous example is arguably Gellar and Blair's now-famous kiss, but Gellar makes a valid point when she says that a network drama would probably have to tone down certain elements.

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