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Sarah Michelle Gellar is Grateful NBC's Cruel Intentions Pilot Failed

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions

Over the years, Sarah Michelle Gellar (ex-Kendall, All My Children) transitioned seamlessly from teen to adult projects. Among her iconic roles was Kathryn Merteuil in the 1999 movie Cruel Intentions. Now, she's got a small part in Netflix's dark comedy Do Revenge, out now, and the Paramount+ series Wolf Pack.

Several years ago, Gellar filmed a pilot for a Cruel Intentions reboot series that ultimately did not pan out. Asked if she'd be interested in revisiting that project anew, she told the New York Times' Ashley Spencer:

I don’t know. That was a whole crazy time. Nothing against NBC, but 'Cruel Intentions' is straight streaming. On the first day, I was like, 'This isn’t working.' It’s just not a network show. And if it is a network show, it’s not my 'Cruel Intentions.' So, I was actually grateful.

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In Do Revenge, Gellar is no longer the rebellious teen, but an adult, the headmaster who is giving teens advice. She said of director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson:

Jenn is a big 'Cruel Intentions' fan and just said, 'Do you think we can write something'” And we sort of came up with the character together. We designed the office together. We even tried to give the headmaster a name, de Merteuil’s real name from 'Dangerous Liaisons.' But it felt a little too hammer on the nail.

Spencer said that Robinson informed her that, in Robinson's mind, the Do Revenge headmaster is Cruel Intentions' Kathryn all grown up. Is that how Gellar played the role? In response, Gellar mused:

Absolutely. I always say, I wonder what Kathryn’s doing now? Who does that person become? But we really wanted her to be a champion of women, too. She is building women up for what you have to face as a female.