Heathers: The Musical? Thank you, ma’am, may I have another! Heathers: The TV Show. What’s your damage, Hollywood? News broke late last week that Fox was working on a contemporary take on the 1989 cult classic. And while I’m not ready to do anything inappropriate with a chainsaw — gently or otherwise — I can’t say I’m too enthusiastic.
The problem with any adaptation of Heathers is, of course, tone.
The jet-black comedy of Heathers worked on film because of its pitch-perfect delivery. It was equal-parts mean and hilarious which cut close enough to the bone to leave a scar. Dying is easy, satire is hard like drinking Drano.
The film is being adapted for the small screen by Mark Rizzo (whose previous credit includes a failed pilot called Zip) with help from Sex and the City alum Jenny Bicks. The project is still in the script stage.
Rizzo is apparently still deciding how best to update Heathers, but all the principal characters should still be there including Veronica Sawyer (originally played by Winona Ryder), J.D. (Christian Slater) and — naturally — the Heathers. No word on any potential casting yet.
Now, if done right I could lick this up. A dark comedy with bite about the homicidal horrors of high school cliques is an endlessly fertile breeding ground for ideas. But, in the 20 years since the film came out, the topic of teenage angst (with or without a body count) has been plumbed brilliantly on both the big and small screens in Mean Girls, Election and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to name a few.
But I fear that without an extremely gifted creative team, it would be impossible to sustain the kind of concentrated ruthlessness that made the film so very.
So, what do you think? How very could this be? Or does it make you want to contemplate teenage suicide? (Don’t do it, by the way.)