‘Cruel Intentions’ TV Adaptation Ordered to Pilot at NBC

Roger Kumble returns to write, direct and produce follow up to 1999 film, which originally starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

NBC has officially ordered a pilot for a TV adaptation of “Cruel Intentions,” TheWrap has learned.

The pilot picks up over 15 years after the movie left off.

It follows Kathryn Merteuil (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the original) as she vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her brother, the late Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) and Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon). Upon discovering his late father’s legacy in a hidden journal, Bash is introduced to a world of sex, money, power and corruption he never could have imagined.

NBC bought the script in October with a commitment, plus a penalty from the film’s original director and writer Roger Kumble.  He will also direct the pilot in addition to co-writing with Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross, best known for staging musical version of “Cruel Intentions” in Los Angeles last summer.

The trio will also executive produce the series. Neal Moritz and Original Film’s Pavun Shetty will also executive produce through their deal with Sony Pictures Television.

“Cruel Intentions” was a surprise hit when it debuted in 1999 after pulling in $75 million worldwide on a $10.5 million budget. It also helped launch the careers of Witherspoon and co-star Selma Blair.

Kumble previously tried to bring “Cruel Intentions” to TV with a series called “Manchester Prep.” It was scrapped by Fox prior to the airing of the first episode in 1999, due to scenes that included female masturbation amongst other things. It starred Robin Dunne, Amy Adams and Keri Lynn Pratt and was then adapted into a straight-to-DVD sequel “Cruel Intentions 2.”

This marks the latest attempt to adapt a film to the small screen. CBS found success in fall 2015 with their adaptation of “Limitless,” with Bradley Cooper serving as executive producer after starring in the 2011 film.

CBS will also debut a television adaptation of the “Rush Hour” film series on March 31 and recently ordered a “Training Day” series to pilot.

Other film-to-TV adaptations have not been so lucky. Fox struck out with “Minority Report,” based on the 2002 Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg film. The show averaged less than 2.1 million viewers per episode and was cancelled after one season.

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Kumble is represented by UTA. Rosin is represented by ICM, Foundry Literary + Media, Underground, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. Ross is also represented by ICM.

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