Get ready, Upper East Siders, because Gossip Girl is headed back to TV! In December 2020, HBO Max confirmed that the highly anticipated continuation of the iconic CW series would be headed to the streaming service in 2021.

Set four years after the original show — which aired from 2007 until 2012 — the reimagined version is set to follow a new group of private school students in New York City. The new series, which has already finished filming in the Big Apple, will also explore how much social media and the Upper East Side has changed over the years. In November 2020, showrunner Joshua Safran explained why the new installment — starring Whitney Peak, Eli Brown, Jordan Alexander, Emily Alyn Lind, Evan MockSavannah Smith, Jason Gotay, Zión Moreno, Thomas Doherty, Tavi Gevinson and more — is technically not considered a reboot.

“A) The cast aren’t playing the original characters B) It exists in the same world as the original C) The same creators and one of the original writers are making it D) No one involved with it is calling it a reboot,” he wrote in an Instagram Stories post at the time.During a February 2021 interview with Dazed magazine, Emily agreed with this sentiment. “These are new characters, new story lines,” the actress explained when asked whether or not she and the cast feel pressure joining the ranks of such a well-known series. “It’s a new generation.”

During the same interview Whitney added, “There’s a lot of representation, which I can’t say we saw a lot of in the first one. It’s dope being able to see people who look like you and who are interested in the same things, and who happen to be in entertainment, because it’s so influential and obviously reflective of the times.”

She also told Cosmopolitan in April 2021 that “representation is everything,” especially in the scope of the show. “I want all the hers and the hes and the theys and the people of color from all over the world to be able to watch the show and think, That’s a person who looks like me. I don’t have to be the stereotypical idea of who I am,” the actress explained.

In the same Cosmo interview, Savannah added, “It’s really important for a Black girl, with twists in her hair, to be able to see someone in a position of power who looks like her. And it’s also important for kids in the suburbs or kids who don’t have a lot of Black friends or friends of color just to generally see us depicted in different ways. I think this could really change things. Maybe they’re not learning these things at home, but they’re seeing them on Gossip Girl. How amazing is that?”

Evan, for his part, told Vanity Fair in March 2021 that the new show is  more “woke,” “blunt,” and “graphic” than the original.

Despite being a completely different show, Whitney also told Wonderland in March 2021 that they already have a major fanbase. “We haven’t even finished filming the show yet and there’s already so much media attention and such a huge fandom,” the actress gushes. “Everybody has something to say about it, and I can’t add to the conversation. It’s kind of overwhelming. But I’m so excited for the audience to be caught off guard!”

Scroll through our gallery to see everything we know about the new Gossip Girl series so far!

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