Clueless is one of the seminal teen films of the 1990s, so it was only a matter of time before it was remade for a modern audience. NBC has recently announced their plans to do just that, but not in a manner most would expect. Instead of continuing to focus on the film’s protagonist, Cher Horowitz, the new Clueless spinoff will be a spinoff that follows Cher’s best friend, Dionne Davenport.
While details remain scarce regarding the cast & release date, there are still plenty of hints as to the direction and tone of the new series. Here’s everything to know about the upcoming Clueless reboot.
No Cher anywhere
Cher is no more. The fashion icon and former protagonist has exited the building, which will not only distinguish the show from its predecessor but will serve as a major turning point for Dionne’s character. The show’s description states that Dionne will have to step up her game in order to uncover the truth behind Cher’s disappearance.
“A baby pink and bisexual blue-tinted, tiny sun-glasses wearing, oat milk latte and Adderall-fueled look at what happens when queen bee Cher disappears and her lifelong No. 2 Dionne steps into Cher’s vacant Air Jordans,” the description reads.
“How does Dionne deal with the pressures of being the new most popular girl in school, while also unraveling the mystery of what happened to her best friend?”
Long time coming
The rumors surrounding a Clueless reboot date back to October 2019, when producers were shopping the project to different networks & streaming services. It’s currently set to premiere on NBC’s Peacock under the supervision of producers Eli Bush, Scott Rudin, and Tiffany Grant. Robert Lawrence, the producer of the original film, will also be involved in an executive capacity.
Jordan Reddout & Gus Hickey will serve as the writers and primary showrunners on the series. Their previous work includes episodes of Dollface, Will & Grace, and The Muppets; they currently serve as writers on the Tracee Ellis Ross sitcom Mixed-ish.
As the premise suggests, the still-untitled reboot will rely less on humor and more on the intrigue surrounding its core mystery. Deadline reports that Reddout & Hickey plan to take a more fluid approach to the Clueless material, which means incorporating elements of drama & suspense.
The publication refers to the new direction as “Mean Girls meets Riverdale meets a Lizzo music video”. There’s also mention of Dionne being an Adderall user dealing with immense pressure at school, hinting at the internal struggles with which the previously chipper character will contend.
This isn’t the first time studios have attempted a Clueless TV spinoff. A series based on the film aired on ABC (and UPI) for three seasons between 1996 until 1999. Rachel Blanchard inherited the mantle of Cher from Alicia Silverstone, while Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, and Elisa Donovan all reprised their roles from the film.
Clueless has also spawned novels, animated web shows, and a stage musical that ran from December 2018 to January 2019, written by the film’s original director, Amy Heckerling, and starring Dove Cameron as Cher.
Stacey Dash’s performance as Dionne made her a star, so naturally there’s speculation as to whether the actress will be involved in the new series. Entertainment Weekly posits the odds of Dash making a cameo as “unlikely” given her recent personal history and the fact she was arrested for domestic abuse in 2019.
Dash speaks fondly of her time as Dionne and referred to the character as a positive role model for girls. “[Clueless] started a trend, but I don’t think anyone hit it quite like we did,” she told Elle in 2015. “We weren’t mean girls, we weren’t snobbish. We were just teenagers who had opinions, but we always wanted to help.”