On Sunday, we finally got our first look at the upcoming TV reboot of Heathers. The show's first trailer premiered on Instagram with an abundance of extra snaps, clips, and goodies. As luck would have it, the show's five big stars showed up in full force at Sunday night's MTV VMAs in LA. Coincidence? Probably not. Even so, we caught up with Melanie Field, Brendan Scannell, Jasmine Mathews, Grace Victoria Cox, and James Scully ahead of the show. And believe me, they were more than willing to dish on some dirty details of the exciting project.
Obviously, the biggest question when it comes to a remake, reboot, or revamp is how much it's going to be like the original. In this case, we already know the TV show has departed from the film. The three Heathers are no longer a trio of white girls, but a more alternative leader, a black lesbian, and a Heather who is genderqueer. In a generation that seems to be embracing gender fluidity and blurring the gender binary, this creative shift is the perfect choice.
"It's about time. I mean, just in general," says Field, who plays the group leader, Heather Chandler. "The world is moving in that direction — not quickly enough — but at least we're seeing progress. And our show is definitely trying to contribute to the conversation."
Scannell, who plays the aforementioned genderqueer Heather Duke, chimes in. "With the younger generation, I feel like we aren't as prescribed to gender. We can sort of bend between them and not have to be binary." So, it's clear one aspect of the show has changed dramatically: the entire "mean-girl" persona has been blown to bits and embedded into other kinds of characters.
As for the other aspects of the revamp, we are still seeing glimmers of the cult classic. Thanks to the trailer, we know at least one iconic line is lifted from the quotable source material ("F*ck me gently with a chainsaw"), but we were curious about what else we're in for. "It's its own story," Scannell adds. "Thematically and stylistically, we're drawing from the movie. But people will see, aside from a couple lines, this is a whole new story inspired by the movie."
"We can kill as many people as we want."
Talking to the Heathers cast is like having wine with friends: everyone jumps in with something fun to say. Scully, who plays bad boy Jason Dean, corroborates what Scannell is saying: the TV show is an entirely different beast. "You just get way more out of every character," he reveals. "You get all the Heathers' backstories; you get way more of Veronica's and my backstory." If you're worried the show is losing all of its edge, don't. Just like the movie, Scully says, "Death happens quickly." In fact, he warns, "Don't get attached to any of the characters . . . we have more time to kill more people. We can kill as many people as we want."
"Life is fleeting," Field says with a grin. I mean, seeing as we see her iconic death in a brief character clip on Instagram, we have to accept the facts. In this glitzy reimagining, one thing remains the same: no one is safe.