Well, f—k me gently with a chainsaw, Heathers is getting a new TV reboot. The movie that put the “mean” in “mean girls” will be transformed into an anthology series along the lines of Fargo and American Horror Story for TV Land, which will be a first for the network and the third attempt to reimagine the film on TV.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to reveal the news and described the project as a black comedy with a modern twist on the Winona Ryder-, Christian Slater-led film released in 1989. This time the outsiders are the ones running the school — there’s Heather McNamara, a black lesbian; Heather Duke, “a male gender-queer whose real name is Heath”; and Heather Chandler, who has a body like Martha “Dumptruck” Dunnstock (the overweight student ruthlessly bullied by the popular kids in the original film). Because it’s an anthology, the plan is to feature a new cast of characters every season.
Bravo had a Heathers TV series in the works back in 2012 called Ashleys from Jenny Bicks, but the project was squashed the following year, while a previous attempt was in 2009 when Bicks pitched it to Fox. It’s interesting that TV Land is giving the go-ahead for a pilot, written by Jason Micallef, given the success of Scream Queens.
Ryan Murphy described his series, which was recently announced for a season 2 return, as “Halloween meets Heathers,” and there was even an homage to the film. An episode titled “Chainsaw” (which perhaps was a reference to the famous line) featured “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)” by Doris Day, which was also featured in the film’s opening. The Chanels also turned croquet, the signature game of the Heathers, into a sinister pledge challenge.
Given the nature of the original film, in which the main Heather is murdered, the reboot is going to need some added oomph to set it apart from what came before.