The Gossip Girl Reboot Will Feature Inclusive Casting (and Kristen Bell)

The leads will be nonwhite, and the show will feature queer storylines.

GOSSIP GIRL, (back row, l to r): Penn Badgley, Ed Westwick, Taylor Momsen, (front): Blake Lively, Ch
The CW/Courtesy Everett Collection

There’s more news about the impending Gossip Girl reboot! Xoxo. The show is headed to HBO Max, and if Leighton Meester doesn’t get at least a cameo (preferably a multiepisode arc), we will riot. But anyway—there are updates!

Kristen Bell is officially joining the show, reprising her role as the voice of the all-knowing Gossip Girl (which made no sense once the show revealed that GG was actually Dan, which also made no sense, but oh, well.) And over the weekend, the executive producer and writer, Joshua Safran, revealed a bit about what the new show will look like. For starters, the cast will include more people of color and there will be queer-focused storylines.

“There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” Safran said at this weekend’s Vulture Festival in Los Angeles. “I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So, this time around the leads are nonwhite. There’s a lot of queer content on this show. 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.”

We are dying to know what the twist is.

Safran said that he and co-creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were inspired to do a reboot after examining how very different teen lives are today as opposed to in the aughts. (Safran added that he’s been getting intel from a friend’s teen step-daughter, who currently attends a fancy Manhattan high school.) He confirmed that the new show will take place in the same universe as the original, and that the characters will also attend the fictional Constance Billard School for Girls, which the author of the original Gossip Girl novels, Cecily von Ziegesar, based on the famed Nightingale-Bamford school. These kids better still eat lunch on the steps of the Met.