If Frozen fans get Anna back for another film, it’s only fair that Gossip Girl devotees will once again hear their favourite narrator return to spill all the tea in the upcoming reboot. Just announced this week, Kristen Bell will be back in the world of Manhattan’s elite when the Gossip Girl reboot premieres on HBO Max. We XOXO this news.
After months of deliberations, creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage confirmed the news on Thursday, releasing a joint statement saying, “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl.” That’s right. She is the voice and somehow Dan Humphries was the fingers on the keyboard. But that’s a very long debate for another day.
Although Bell’s role in Gossip Girl was solely as the narrator, she did make a brief appearance along with The OC’s Rachel Bilson in the series finale.
Gossip Girl is the latest beloved series in Bell’s career to get the reboot treatment. The Good Place actor picked up her binoculars once again in 2019 to play private eye Veronica Mars in the series of the same name. The cult favourite initially ended in 2007 after three seasons and was briefly revived in 2014 when fans raised money to fund a feature film. In July, Veronica Mars returned for a fourth season and brought back most of the main cast, including Bell in the lead role.
The reboot of Gossip Girl will be penned by the original series’ showrunner Josh Safran and has already been picked up by HBO Max for a full ten-episode order. The series received the greenlight back in July, when a short synopsis was also released. According to Deadline, the new Gossip Girl show will take place eight years after the infamous website went dark. Once again, the show will use a prestigious prep school in New York City as its backdrop, with a new mystery gossip girl wreaking havoc on the lives of the teens by sharing all their secrets. This time around, the series will also consider how the lives of teens have changed in the wake of social media.
Airing from 2007 to 2012 on the CW, Gossip Girl was one of the most scandalous shows for teens on air at the time. Starring Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick, the series depicted teens having sex, drinking, and doing drugs. And that was the tame stuff.
Gossip Girl’s move from broadcast TV to HBO Max will have some interesting implications for storylines and tone. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Schwartz said that move to HBO gives Gossip Girl more freedom to push the boundaries, with the success of 2019’s Euphoria likely a big indicator that there is an audience for rawer and grittier teen-based dramas. “Safran loves twists and turns. I don’t think it’s going to be a meditative version of Gossip Girl. It’s not a tone poem,” said Schwartz. “If it’s more explicit, that’s something that we’ve talked about and haven’t really come up with a solid take on. Like, can they swear? Maybe there will be some nudity. We haven’t really figured it out.”