HBO Max drops first trailer for ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot with Black leads

The original “Gossip Girl” series was a huge hit for the CW from 2007 to 2012

HBO Max has dropped a teaser for the upcoming Gossip Girl reboot series which is set to premiere on July 8.

“This time around the leads are nonwhite,” the show’s executive producer, Joshua Safran said in a statement. Safran was a writer and executive producer on the original series which aired on The CW.

“There will also be 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,” he added. 

Read More: ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot casts newcomer Savannah Smith in HBO Max series

As theGrio previously reported, the original Gossip Girl was a huge hit for the CW from 2007 to 2012 and followed the lives of super spoiled teenagers wreaking havoc on the Upper East Side of NYC.

The series is based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar and the original show, developed by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, starred Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick.

The new iteration will pick up focus on a fresh diverse generation and show how technology has changed the ways in which they interact and of course, gossip.

“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,” reads promotional material for the new show.

The lead in the reboot will be played by newcomer Savannah Smith. According to Shadow and Act, Smith is part of the school’s in-crowd. She’s not the only Black face we’ll see when the series hits HBO Max because Whitney Peak has nabbed a role as well. The series also stars Jordan Alexander, Eli Brown, Thomas Doherty, Tavi Gevinson, Emily Alyn Lind, Evan Mock, Zion Moreno, Whitney Peak and Savannah Lee Smith.

“Representation is everything,” Peak, 18, told Cosmopolitan. “I want all the hers and the hes and the theys and the people of color from all over the world to be able to watch the show and think, ‘That’s a person who looks like me. I don’t have to be the stereotypical idea of who I am.'”

Safran says the new series will find the cast exploring privilege in ways they couldn’t with the original series. 

Read More: Barry Jenkins inks first-look deal with HBO, HBO Max

“There are more than enough shows with white people centered in them,” he said. “I’m married to a Mexican American man; I am a queer man. My world is not exclusively white. No one’s is.”

As reported by Shadow and Act, the revamp is described as “an extension of the pop culture classic.”

Kristen Bell is reprising her role as the narrator of the series.

“You’ve gotten so comfortable thinking you’re in control of your image, your actions, the narrative,” Bell says in the teaser as the new cast of characters are seen partying in the background. “But you forgot one thing: I can see you.” 

“And before I’m through, I’ll make sure you see you too,” she continues before several voices say her famous line: “You know you love me.” 

“Xoxo, gossip girl,” she concludes.

theGrio’s Cortney Wills contributed to this report.

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