XOXO, The Gossip Girl reboot is making its entrance in style very soon. HBO Max just released the full-length Gossip Girl trailer a few weeks before the show premieres. The show is definitely on our summer TV 2021 must-watch list. A new generation of teens is about to take New York City by storm ... and things are going to heat up very quickly.
Gossip Girl 2021 takes place eight years after the original series. A fresh crop of elite private school students are introduced to living under the watch of an all-seeing Gossip Girl (though it’s gotta be a copy-cat, right?). And while a lot has changed in social media and the city landscape in the intervening time, one thing remains the same: Kristen Bell is still voicing the snarky narrator!
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Bell isn't the only returning OG from the first Gossip Girl series. Creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are executive producers on the reboot, while writer/producer Joshua Safran is penning the scripts.
Here's everything we know so far about the Gossip Girl reboot.
Gossip Girl reboot release date
Gossip Girl 2021 will be released July 8 on HBO Max.
On May 19, HBO Max announced Gossip Girl's launch in July with a post on — what else — social media.
The first season consists of 10 episodes, which will be released weekly.
Gossip Girl reboot trailer
HBO Max dropped a full-length Gossip Girl trailer on July 9, just weeks away from the premiere date. The glossy video is set to Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids" and introduces the next generation of privileged prep school kids. And it ushers in the return of Gossip Girl, now an all-seeing Instagram account.
Earlier this year, HBO Max unveiled a Gossip Girl teaser trailer that issues an ominous warning to the teens of NYC.
"I can see you," Gossip Girl purrs. "And before I'm through, I'll make sure you see you, too."
Gossip Girl reboot cast: Are the original stars returning?
The first question on everyone's mind when HBO Max first announced the Gossip Girl reboot was: Are any of the original cast members coming back?
Aside from Kristen Bell returning as the narrator, the answer sadly seems to be no ... at least for right now.
Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen) told Variety (opens in new tab) in 2017, "It sort of all depends. Would I do seven years of the show? No, because it’s hard work and I’ve got my babies, and I don’t want to be away from them that much. But I’ve just learned in life you never say never. I’m looking to do something that I haven’t done yet, not something that I did. But would I do that? Who knows—if it was good, if it made sense. We had so much fun shooting and living and working in New York City.”
Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf) said something similar, telling E! News (opens in new tab), "I never say never."
Chace Crawford (Nate Archibald) is definitely on board with returning to Gossip Girl, though he's currently busy filming The Boys season 3. "If there’s an opening in the future for doing a cameo, I would definitely be open," he told August Man (opens in new tab).
Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey) seems less enthused. He's also busy with his own show, having just wrapped on You season 3. "I think it’s pretty clear that, like, I’ve never been a proponent of Dan Humphrey’s," he explained to Entertainment Tonight. (opens in new tab) "I've never been necessarily the greatest friend or fan of Dan Humphrey, which now I reconcile in this way that I’m like, you know, I would love to contribute in a meaningful way to it. And I guess it would just depend on a lot of things…It would depend on how and why he’s there.”
If any of them want in, though, the door is always open, according to executive producer Josh Schwartz. “We’ve reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening, and we’d love for them to be involved if they want to be involved, but certainly didn’t want to make it contingent upon [them being involved],” he told reporters in 2019.
Gossip Girl reboot cast: Who are the new teens?
The original stars are a big "maybe," which is OK because Gossip Girl 2021 has a fresh lineup of cast members to play elite private school teens:
Emily Alyn Lind as Audrey, who "has been in a long-term relationship and is beginning to wonder what more could be out there.” Her mom is an athleisure designer.
Jordan Alexander as Julien Calloway, a teen influencer who is best friends with Audrey.
Evan Mock plays Akeno "Aki" Menzies, who has been dating Audrey for "ages" and described with the word "innocence."
Whitney Peak as Zoya Lott, a "relatable-ish tour guide" to the wealthy world of the private school set.
Eli Brown as Obi, whose full name is Otto Bergmann IV. He's a "rich do-gooder and German import."
Thomas Doherty as Max Wolfe, described as a libertine.
Tavi Gevinson as Kate Keller
Savannah Smith as Monet de Haan
Zión Moreno as Luna La
And let's not forget the older residents — parents, teachers, inappropriate romantic interests — of the Gossip Girl world. Laura Benanti is on board the reboot, as is Elizabeth Lail (who starred with Badgley in the first season of You).
Gossip Girl reboot story and plot
Here's the reboot's official synopsis from HBO Max: "Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years."
The biggest difference between the old and new Gossip Girl is that their identity isn't a secret.
"It didn't really feel like a group of adults who were being controlled by Gossip Girl would make a lot of sense," Schwartz told E! News. "So it felt like there was something really interesting about this idea that we are all Gossip Girl now, in our own way, that we are all purveyors of our own social media surveillance state ... telling that story through a new generation of upper east side high school kids felt like the right time."
And while the original stars may not appear, they will still be apart of the GG world. "The characters talk about them and that they do exist," Safran told Entertainment Tonight (opens in new tab). "The show jumped five years in the future when it ended and we are past that five years now, so it’s whole new things that they could be doing.”
Another change is that the story will actually take the characters beyond Manhattan to the — gasp — outer boroughs. "Not everyone lives on the Upper East Side, though," Safran noted. "Brooklyn’s not the bad place to live. Brooklyn’s probably cooler in the new version than Manhattan, ’cause it is in some places."
The cast is also more diverse, by the choice of the producers. "This time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show," Safran told Vulture (opens in new tab). "It is very much dealing with the way the world looks now, where wealth and privilege come from, and how you handle that. The thing I can’t say is there is a twist, and that all relates to the twist.”
And since the twist isn't the unmasking of Gossip Girl, we will have to wait and see what it might be.
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