The “Cruel Intentions” TV series at Amazon has set its main cast, Variety has learned exclusively from sources.
The series regulars in the show are: Sarah Catherine Hook (“First Kill,” “Impeachment: American Crime Story”) as Caroline, Zac Burgess (“Totally Completely Fine”) as Lucien, Khobe Clarke (“Yellowjackets,” “Firefly Lane”) as Scott, Brooke Lena Johnson (“You,” “South of Hell”) as Beatrice, Sara Silva (“The Boys,” “American Horror Stories”) as CeCe, Sean Patrick Thomas (the original “Cruel Intentions” film, “Till”) as Professor Chadwick, John Harlan Kim (“The Last Thing He Told Me,” “9-1-1”) as Blaise, and Myra Molloy (“He’s All That,” “The Bold Type”) as Annie.
Laura Benanti (“Younger,” “Nashville”) will appear in the recurring guest star role of Claudia, Caroline’s mother. Jon Tenney (“The Closer,” “Major Crimes”) will appear in a recurring guest star role as a U.S. Congressman Russell.
Laura Benanti has left Amazon’s upcoming TV adaptation of “Cruel Intentions.”
The Tony-winner was set to appear in the recurring guest star role of Caroline’s (Sarah Catherine Hook) mother, Claudia.
“Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict, I’m no longer able to participate in ‘Cruel Intentions,’” Benanti told me Thursday afternoon. “I’m sure they’ll find a wonderful actress to play this role.”
Benanti co-stars in the upcoming “No Hard Feelings,” the raunchy coming-of-age movie headlined by Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman. She’s also currently sharing the stage with Matthew Broderick in an off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters.”
The show was reportedly picked up at Amazon in early April for eight episodes.
At that time, it was reported that it could be released through either Amazon’s Prime Video or Freevee. It is scheduled to begin production in the coming days in Toronto.
The series is said to follow “two ruthless step siblings who would go to great lengths to stay on top of the social pyramid. In this case, their focus is the Greek life hierarchy at an elite Washington, D.C. college. After a brutal hazing incident threatens the entire Panhellenic system, they’ll do anything to preserve their power and reputations, even attempt to seduce the daughter of the Vice President of the United States.”
The TV adaptation is a long time coming for the 1999 cult classic. As Variety previously reported, a TV show based on the film (which is based on the classic novel, “Dangerous Liaisons”) was set up at IMDB TV (now Freevee) in 2021.
In 2016, NBC ordered a pilot for a followup to the film with Sarah Michelle Gellar, one of the film’s original stars, attached to reprise her role as Kathryn Merteuil.
However, it ultimately didn’t make it to series. Prior to that, Fox’s attempted a “Cruel Intentions” prequel series, which was canceled before making it to air. Three episodes of that show were eventually assembled to become the direct-to-video film “Cruel Intentions 2” in 2001. In 2004, Sony Pictures produced a second direct-to-video sequel, “Cruel Intentions 3.”
The new version of the series is written and executive produced by Phoebe Fisher with Sara Goodman. Neal H. Moritz and Pavun Shetty of Original Film will executive produce. Moritz was a producer on the original film, while he and Shetty executive produced the NBC pilot. Andrea Iervolino and Monica Bacardi of Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment will also executive produce along with Bruce Mellon. Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios will produce with Original Film.