XOXO, Blair and Serena: The 'Gossip Girl' Reboot Won't Feature Any of the Original Characters

Shannon Raphael - Author

Jul. 2 2021, Published 2:47 p.m. ET

'Gossip Girl'
Source: Karolina Wojtasik / HBO Max

For many millennials (and for Gen Zers who caught up on streamers), Gossip Girl was the top-tier teen drama series. Based on the set of Young Adult novels by Cecily Von Ziegesar, the original Gossip Girl series focused on a group of elite Upper East Side teens as they navigated love, friendship, and betrayal.

The show sparked the careers of Blake Lively, who played "It" girl Serena van Der Woodsen, Leighton Meester, who starred as fashion icon Blair Waldorf, and Penn Badgley, who was the Brooklyn outsider, Dan Humphrey.

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In the summer of 2019, Warner Media announced that the show would be rebooted for HBO Max. Though some hoped that they would get to see the original characters reprise their roles, only Kristen Bell is returning to narrate as the Gossip Girl.

The series is instead focusing on a new slate of private school students, but who are they?

Source: Instagram / HBO Max
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What is the premise of the 'Gossip Girl' reboot series?

Though the first Gossip Girl series became a cultural phenomenon and it's continued to draw in viewers on streaming services, the rebooted series will feature more nuanced characters and stories.

The main premise is the same; the HBO Max drama centers around students who all attend the same private school. It's the same establishment as the one featured in the original, and the plot takes place eight years after the Gossip Girl website faded to black.

The HBO Max version of Gossip Girl includes more diverse characters, some of whom are from disparate socioeconomic backgrounds.

Romance will still play a big part in the plot, but there will be multiple queer love stories.

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Gossip Girl has modernized in several key ways. Instead of being young socialites, some of the main characters will be social media influencers. While the mystery of Gossip Girl's true identity persisted throughout The CW series' five-year run, viewers will find out who is behind the "Spotted" tips in the first episode of the HBO Max drama.

Source: HBO Max
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Executive Producer Josh Safran told Variety that the new series would also incorporate more humor than its predecessor.

Though there are many ways in which the show will stand apart, the characters themselves do pay homage to Cecily Von Ziegesar's creations.

None of the original characters will be reprising their roles (yet).

While there is every chance that at least one of the stars from The CW series will return to the drama at some point, none of the characters will be present in Season 1 of the HBO Max edition.

Fans of The CW series may be missing Blair, Serena, Dan, Nate, and Chuck (OK, maybe not Chuck), but they'll notice some similarities to the new Upper East Siders.

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Emily Alyn Lind is playing Audrey Hope, who is already giving off Blair vibes with her classic style and her penchant for the finer things in life. When the show begins, she's in a long-term relationship with Aki (Evan Mock), which parallels Blair's first relationship with Nate.

Blair and Serena's friendship was at the forefront of the first teen drama, and the central platonic relationship in the reboot is between Audrey and influencer Julien (Jordan Alexander).

Source: HBO Max
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Zión Moreno and Savannah Smit are playing Luna La and Monet de Haan, respectively, who are Julien's friends.

The character earning the most comparisons to Dan thus far is Zoya Lott (Whitney Peak), because she is "relatable."

The resident party boy of the friend group is Max Wolfe (Thomas Doherty), who seems to be like Chuck. Otto "Obie" Bergmann IV is his close friend who is uber-wealthy, and he has a heart of gold, like Nate.

The final person in the main friend group is Kate Keller (Tavi Gevinson), whose character traits are currently being kept under wraps.

The first episode of the Gossip Girl reboot series will drop on HBO Max on July 8. New episodes will come out on Thursdays.

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