'Gossip Girl' Creator Reveals HBO Max's Version Will Be More a 'Continuation' Than Reboot

Gossip Girl's Josh Schwartz clarified some things about the upcoming new series coming WarnerMedia's HBO Max. While promoting his Hulu limited series Looking for Alaska at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, the executive producer told reporters the new Gossip Girl series will not be a reboot with new actors playing the original's iconic roles, but more along the lines of a sequel of sorts.

"There aren't, like, new actors playing Serena and Blair. It's not a remake. [It's] a continuation of that world," Schwartz said, as first reported by TVLine.

The show being set in the same universe gives the opportunity for the stars of The CW series to make appearances on the show, including the leading actors who became huge stars during the show's original run — Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick.

"We've reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening, and we would love for them to be involved if they want to be involved," Schwartz said. "But [we] certainly didn't want to make it contingent upon their [participation]. They played those characters for six years, and if they felt like they were good with that, we wanted to respect that. But obviously, it would be great to see them again."

The new 10-episode series for the new streaming platform will introduce a new set of Manhattan private schoolers falling victim to a new all-seeing Gossip Girl. The original show's executive producer Joshua Safran will serve as writer and EP.

"He had a really great take and a really great idea, and that made it feel like this was the moment," Schwartz told press. "He definitely wanted to subvert the original paradigm."

According to the synopsis first released: "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."

Schwartz admitted during the panel that the idea of reviving Gossip Girl was always in the back of his and co-creator Stephanie Savage's minds.


"We felt like a version that was just our cast grown up — regardless of what the challenges would be of assembling those actors again — it didn't really feel like a group of adults who were being controlled by Gossip Girl would make a lot of sense," Schwartz said. "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 kind of purveyors of our own social media state, and how that's evolved and how that has morphed and mutated, and telling that story through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids just felt like the right time."

The series does not have a premiere date. HBO Max is set to launch in spring 2020.