After seven years of dramatic twists and turns, Pretty Little Liars wrapped for good. Considering its large and super passionate fanbase, the idea of a reboot has naturally been something viewers have been hoping for since the show ended. Well, it is finally happening.
Freeform picked up a pilot for Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, which will star Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish reprising their roles of Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal. The storyline will be based off the book written by Sara Shepard, the author of the original Pretty Little Liars books. If that's not promising enough, the series will also be directed by PLL showrunner I. Marlene King. Guaranteed hit, right?
"At Freeform, we are committed to delivering shows that push boundaries and become a part of our viewers lives. Pretty Little Liars was a cultural phenomenon so it's no wonder fans wanted more," an executive at Freeform said in a statement. "We can't wait to continue Marlene King's rich and revolutionary storytelling with a new crop of leading ladies from Beacon Heights who will hold just as many secrets and lies as Rosewood did." Plus, there's even been an exciting cast announcement: none other than Sofia Carson will be joining the cast as a character named Ava.
JUST ANNOUNCED: Welcome to the Liars family, @SofiaCarson! Sofia joins the cast of spinoff pilot “#PrettyLittleLiars: The Perfectionists” as Ava, a beautiful trendsetting blogger and coder, who strives to be a fashion icon. She joins @SashaaPieterse + @JanelParrish. pic.twitter.com/bJIucBJGiw— Pretty Little Liars (@PLLTVSeries) January 29, 2018
And Janel is already so stoked to have the Disney Channel queen on board.
As is Sasha Pieterse, who also took to Twitter to officially welcome Sofia to the squad.
Just precious. So what else do we know about the show so far? Allow us to break it all down for you...
How long did Janel and Sasha know about the PLL reboot before it got announced?
Got a secret? They can keep it. Sasha and Janel opened up about having to keep the big secret – turns out, they've known about it for quite some time.
"I've known that we were gonna do this for about a year," Sasha said in an interview. "Obviously, I hadn't been able to announce it yet. I didn't know they were going to announce it today. People kept coming up to me and congratulating me and I'm like, 'On what?' And so I'm so excited that I get to talk about it now. Janel's going to be in it with me. And Marlene, our creator/producer for PLL is also the creator of this show, The Perfectionists. It's a new journey. It's an awesome journey. And I can't wait to start."
Her co-star Janel is just as pumped to get back into action.
"I've known about it for about a year so it’s really exciting to be able to talk about it," Janel said in an interview with KISS 92.5. "It's made the end of Pretty Little Liars a little less sad because I knew we were able to bring it back."
Janel took to Instagram to announce the news and share her excitement with her fans when the news was finally out.
"Guess the news is out... so happy to continue this @prettylittleliars adventure with my love @sashapieterse27 and @imarleneking 🤓," she wrote alongside the post, giving a shoutout to her longtime friends and co-workers Sasha and Marlene.
Were Mona and Ali in The Perfectionists novels?
Although Mona and Ali weren't in the books that the show is based off of, author Sara Shepard gives her stamp of approval for how they were written into the story.
She said in an interview, "I have read the pilot, and I love how Ali is written into the story. Not to give away too much, but she plays a big part at the school, though she isn’t one of the characters from the book. (Obviously, she’s Ali! And Ali wasn’t in those novels.) Mona is a little bit more nebulous. She comes in at the end, but I have a feeling she’s going to be a major linchpin to the series. That stuff we saw with Mona at the end of PLL, when she was in Paris? I think that connects to this story somehow. But I’m not sure quite how yet!"
Janel even confirmed in an interview with Elite Daily that Mona isn't going to try to hide who she is anymore.
"I think she understands that she is a complicated person, I think the audience understands that, I think that’s kind of what makes her interesting to watch," Janel said. "She's never really just on anybody’s side, she's kind of on her own. I think she's established herself as one of the good guys, but she's definitely got darkness, and issues and secrets, and that will stay the same [in The Perfectionists] because she's Mona."
She's still that same, old Mona though – no matter how much she tries to change, darkness follows.
"Time has passed, she's obviously not in Paris anymore [and] I think she's really trying to be a person that people can trust," the star added. "However, darkness still seems to follow Mona everywhere. There's a new murderer, a new mystery, and she's got to cope with that."
Where will The Perfectionists take place?
Say goodbye to Rosewood – this show is taking place somewhere new.
Marlene told TVLine, "The show takes place in the Pacific Northwest, and we wanted to be true to that, to Sara’s book... Plus, I really liked the way Rosewood became a character on Pretty Little Liars, [so I wanted to] have a new character, a new town. Portland and the Pacific Northwest are so moody and creepy to begin with. That’s going to be a lot of fun to explore."
What is the Pretty Little Liars spinoff about?
"Everything about the town of Beacon Heights seems perfect, from their top-tier college to their overachieving residents. But nothing in Beacon Heights is as it appears to be. The stress of needing to be perfect leads to the town’s first murder. Behind every Perfectionist is a secret, a lie and a needed alibi," Freeform said in a statement about the series.
Don't expect it to pick up where PLL left off though. Sasha said it really doesn't have much to do with the previous show.
"It has nothing to do with PLL, they're just kind of putting my character into it," Sasha told E! News. "It's still a murder mystery, and it's a really interesting plotline."
Marlene King and revealed to TVLine that, just like PLL, the show will revolve around the mystery of a murder.
She said, "There is a big mystery, and there is a murder, and there are some characters who are a fractured group at the beginning of our story, and through a murder they become friends. So it’s similar in that regard, but it’s a whole new mystery, a whole new murder. We also have Alison and Mona coming from PLL to Beacon Heights, and that’ll all make sense when you see the pilot."
Did the cast of Pretty Little Liars want a reboot?
Coincidentally, Ian Harding – who all know as the one and only Ezra Fitz – recently shared his dream storyline for a PLL reboot, and it's safe to say it doesn't look like his plans are going to play out in this particular spin-off.
"I want it to get rebooted by like, HBO. Because the ante's gotta be up," Ian said in an interview.
When asked if he'd be down to get naked for the show, he definitely didn't say no. Honestly, he seemed all about it.
"Sure. I mean, like, we gotta Game of Thrones it really hard. So, yeah."
As for what his dream storyline would entail, things would definitely kick off with a very unexpected death.
"First episode, Shay Mitchell. Dead. That's gotta happen. We gotta like, up the ante. Like, so much nudity and violence, that's what's gotta happen."
Pretty Little Liars without Shay as Emily Fields? We'd hate to see this, tbh. Come on – that is just impossible and wrong on so many levels. Ian was simply just having a little fun coming up with a crazy new version of the show.
As for the actual Pretty Little Liars reboot nothing – and we mean nothing – makes us happier. After all, that series finale was a bummer to many. We have hope the spin-off will make up for that somehow – just without Ian's whole killing off Shay idea.
This post was originally published on Sept. 22, 2017, and since has been updated.