Kristen Bell will be returning to Gossip Girl for HBO Max. The series is a sequel / reimagining of the popular CW show based on the book series by Cecily von Ziegesar, about a group of upper-class teens attending a fictional boarding school in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The show jump-started the careers of several actors, including Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, and Penn Badgley. Bell will be reprising her role as the omniscient narrator “Gossip Girl,” who runs a blog documenting every juicy detail of the characters’ lives.
The HBO Max series takes place 8 years after the original, following a brand-new group of teens as they stumble into the private school surveillance web of Gossip Girl. The show will reportedly focus on how much social media has grown in the intervening years, to the point where many things Gossip Girl would’ve gossiped about in the original are things people willingly share on Instagram and Twitter.
Considering its stated goal of dealing with a new generation of teens navigating social media, it seems unlikely that any other original cast members will return, at least not as series regulars. But Bell’s casting creates a fascinating implication – her character’s identity was never discovered, and she’s apparently firing her blog back up to roast a new batch of rich teens nearly a decade later. If Gossip Girl was a classmate of the original cast, that would mean she’d be in her 30s now at least. So what is a 30-year-old woman doing spying on a bunch of boarding school kids? I guess we’ll just have to watch the new series to find out.