The “Heathers” reboot will have a black lesbian lead

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Hold on to your croquet mallets, gently rev your chainsaws: 1988 just called, and it has totally awesome news. The cult classic film Heathers is about to make a return to the screen—in an anthology series on TV Land. Earlier today, the network released news of the pilot. “Dating a murderous psychopath and figuring out what to wear to your best friend’s suicide are typical teen problems for Veronica Sawyer,” TV Land writes. Of course we all remember Veronica as blue-hued Winona Ryder, but in this modern take on the dark ‘80s comedy, a whole new set of Heathers and company will take to the high school hallways.

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Que sera, sera? More like queer sera, sera. If you’re hoping to see a replication of the white, slender, straight Heathers clique, sorry—times have changed. That was so ’88. Now the “outcasts have become high school royalty.” According to The Hollywood Reporter: “Heather McNamara (originally played by Lisanne Falk) is a black lesbian; Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) is a male who identifies as gender-queer whose real name is Heath, and Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) has a body like Martha Dumptruck.” How very. What would these Heathers think about Veronica and J.D. staging a murder scene to make it look like the jocks were gay? “I love my dead gay son.”

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The script is written by Jason Micallef (Butter). Executive producers include Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi from Lakeshore Entertainment. This is the third time Heathers has been developed for a reboot—the first being in 2009 when writers Mark Rizzo and Jenny Bicks attempted to revive it for Fox, and the second time in 2012 when Bicks brought the pilot to Bravo. There was talk at the time surrounding whether Winona Ryder would reprise her role.

In a recent interview with Tavi Gevinson for Interview magazine, Ryder got to talking about ‘90s films—like her obsession with Heathers and notably The First Wives Club, which, ironically, was also just picked up by TV Land for its pilot. Guess who’s producing it? Jenny Bicks! “It’s interesting because First Wives Club was the first movie that made a shitload of money that starred all women over a certain age,” says Ryder. Maybe the coupling of Heathers and The First Wives Club will give Ryder some mojo to get onboard—get this girl some extra oregano, am I right?

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The dark nature of the original film poked at such topics as teenage suicide, AIDS, homosexuality, body images, drugs, guns, date rape, death—a popular kid in the cafeteria shouting, “Fag!” That said, it’d be interesting to see how these new Heathers rule the school. What types of things will our Veronica 2.0 be writing about her in diary? How will the writers reshape this dark comedy for a new generation? If you could dream up any actors to fill these roles—who would you want to see cast to play an infamous Heather?

TV Land hasn’t set a premiere date yet as the project is still in development. Check back here for updates! And follow me on Twitter @the_hoff to discuss!

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