Confirming previous rumors, Deadline is reporting that NBC has secured Sarah Michelle Gellar for a starring role in its TV sequel to Cruel Intentions. Gellar starred in the 1999 film as Kathryn Merteuil, a teenaged temptress who lures her ladykiller step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) into his own destruction by coaxing him into falling in love. Now, 17 years later, Gellar is set to reprise the role alongside relative newcomer Taylor John Smith, who’ll play “Bash,” Sebastian’s sure-to-be-corruptible son. (The potential kinda-sorta incest vibes that may or may not develop between the two, meanwhile, might be as close as we ever get to seeing Arrested Development’s Les Cousins Dangereux play out on-screen.)
According to press materials, the older Kathryn is better at hiding her cold heart—presenting herself as a charitable philanthropist specializing in youth rehabilitation—but as eager as ever to encourage others to debauch. She’ll have to contend, though, against both Bash and his mother, Annette, who we’re just going to assume probably won’t look like Reese Witherspoon anymore, since—give or take a Hot Pursuit or two—the 2010’s have treated her a little better than they have Gellar.
Cruel Intentions will be the actress’ third regular TV gig since Buffy The Vampire Slayer went off the air in 2003; she previously starred in The CW’s deeply silly twin drama Ringer, and on the Robin Williams vehicle The Crazy Ones, neither of which made it past a single year. It’ll be interesting to see whether going back to her pulpier, slightly trashier roots, then, will let Gellar break the one-season streak.