While The CW's upcoming Nancy Drew series will incorporate elements from numerous Nancy Drew novels throughout its first season, producers told fans at Comic Con International in San Diego that the series will not directly adapt any one novel for a long-term storyline. Following a screening of the series' premiere, producers were asked about the possibility of doing a straight retelling of one of the many, many Drew stories written in her decades of existence and aimed at a younger audience than the show's. They said no.
The logic, at least in part, seems to be that the books are fairly straightforward mysteries, so any given adaptation would not support a long-term storyline. Not adapting specific stories also allows them to use characters, concepts, and clues as they want rather than feeling bound by an existing structure. While some fans of the character may be bummed that they won't see their favorite stories adapted, but rather "inverted" and "reinvented for the post-Riverdale generation fo viewers.
The property has had some full-on adaptations of the classic novels, including one by IT standout Sophia Lillis appeared in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, a movie that was released earlier this year. That film was intended to launch a new series, but its future is likely up in the air given that the movie went straight to DVD, and the TV show has now gone to series. Kennedy said that while she and the rest of the cast found shooting a pilot while a brand-new movie series was beginning "super surreal," she feels confident that there's room in the market for both versions of the Lillis movie does well enough that Warner Bros. want to make more.
Nancy Drew comes from Chuck and The OC co-creator Josh Schwartz and Runaways producer Stephanie Savage. Set in the summer after her high school graduation, 18-year-old Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) thought she’d be leaving her hometown for college, but when a family tragedy holds her back another year, she finds herself embroiled in a ghostly murder investigation — and along the way, uncovers secrets that run deeper than she ever imagined. The series will premiere this fall on The CW.