Kate Levering takes over for Reese Witherspoon on NBC's Cruel Intentions

You didn't think NBC's sequel of sorts to 1999's CRUEL INTENTIONS was going to be able to land Reese Witherspoon to reprise her role as Annette Hargrove, did you? Okay, good, because it's not happening. Sarah Michelle Gellar may be back to take up as Kathryn Merteuil 15 years later, but it's going to be DROP DEAD DIVA's Kate Levering on the other side, replacing Witherspoon as the now-older Hargrove for the series.

It'll be Annette's son Bash (Taylor John Smith) at the heart of this CRUEL INTENTIONS, as Levering takes much more of a supportive role, battling for the soul of her kid as he's introduced to this scandalous world of sex, money and power that he managed to avoid being raised in a small town away from all the drama that we got a good look at it in Roger Kumble's film.

While recasting of this nature isn't unheard of, there's going to have to be some solid establishment of Levering as the new Annette before they can ever really unleash her into a confrontation with Geller. Unfortunately, fans are going to automatically wonder where Witherspoon is when one of the film's original cast is still hanging around. However, this is a prime opportunity for Levering to make the role her own, and a strong performance can go a long way toward getting old fans to buy in on what the new series is selling and forget that Reese was ever even a part of the story.



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