HBO Max is set to have a bunch of buzzworthy original titles joining its roster, and the new iteration of Gossip Girl is sure to be one of the biggest among them. Last year, it was announced that the new streaming service would be developing a revival of the beloved The CW series -- and now we know one major player who will help bring it to life. HBO Max recently announced that Karena Evans, an award-winning director known for her work in the worlds of music videos and television, will be helming the first two episodes of the new series.
"Josh Safran has found a perfect partner in Karena to illustrate how the landscape of social media, the upper east side, and the world have changed since Gossip Girl premiered 13 years ago," HBO Max Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey said in a statement. "Additionally, her passion for inclusive storytelling matches Josh's and we are proud to have her on this journey with us."
"I couldn't be more excited for Karena to launch the new series," Gossip Girl writer and executive producer Joshua Safran added. "Her vision, voice, and passion are incomparable. It's an honor and a privilege to get to work with her, and I can't wait for everyone to see what she has planned."
Evans is known for directing music videos such as Drake's "In My Feelings", "I'm Upset", and "God's Plan", as well as commercials for Nike. She also directed the pilot episode of the Starz series P-Valley, and is set to direct an episode of Season 4 of Snowfall.
The Gossip Girl revival will be set eight years after the conclusion of the original series, a new cast of Manhattan private schoolers take the lead under the watchful eye of Gossip Girl, while demonstrating how much social media – and the landscape of New York City itself – has changed in the intervening years. The series is expected to exist in the same universe of the original series, but following completely different new characters.
The new Gossip Girl series will star Emily Alyn Lind (The Babysitter, Code Black), Whitney Peak (Molly's Game, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Eli Brown (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, Spinning Out) Johnathan Fernandez (Lethal Weapon, Younger), Jason Gotay (Peter Pan Live!, Love Life), Tavi Gevinson (Scream Queens, Neo Yokio), Thomas Doherty (Descendants 2, High Fidelity) Adam Chanler-Berat (Delivery Man, The Good Wife), Zión Moreno (Control Z, K-12), Savannah Smith, Jordan Alexander (Sacred Lies, Unbury the Biscuit), Evan Mock, and Laura Benanti (Supergirl, Nashville). Kristen Bell is also expected to return as the series' narrator.
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