Pretty Little Liars is coming back with a reboot series on HBO Max. This time it will be called Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. It is said that this new show’s storyline will take place two decades after the original series’ ending. The original show, Pretty Little Liars, which aired from 2010 to 2017 on Freeform, starred Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, and Troian Bellisario.
The reboot series, created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, was announced that it was officially in the works on September 2, 2020, and after a few weeks, on September 24th, it was announced that the new series would stream on HBO Max.
Just like the original series, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is based on Sara Shepard’s young adult novels. That said, the story of these little liars won’t be set in the same town as the original TV series but will be in the same universe. So, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see some cameos from our favorite stars from the original series! In the meantime, let’s talk about everything we know so far about this reboot series.
In its initial statement, HBO Max described the Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, “twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart,” the logline reads. “Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago…as well as their own.” (Note how the statement emphasizes the “A”).
More details about this reboot were revealed on March 8, 2022, in Entertainment Weekly, with the publication revealing the reboot series’ first look photos with the new cast looking all different types of stunned.
According to the series creator, the new show will be much darker than the original series. However, it will still focus on their friendship and how a series of anonymous, terrifying texts affect them. This will also take place in a different place, Millwood, Pennsylvania, a town miles away from Rosewood, where the original series took place. “We wanted a new set of girls, a new town, a new set of secrets, and a new version of ‘A,’” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “We love the idea that Rosewood exists. We reference it. There are Easter eggs throughout the season.”
He also talked about the decision of introducing new personalities instead of recasting the five characters from the original series. “We very consciously said it didn’t continue with the original characters,” he explained. “Honestly, the first series was so iconic. Trying to ask people to embrace a new Aria or a new Spencer felt like a losing proposition.”
Back in July 2021, it was announced via Harper’s Bazaar that Chandler Kinney and Maia Reficco would be cast as the leads, amongst others, for this reboot. Kinney, who is famously known for her role in Lethal Weapon and Zombies 2, will be playing the role of Tabby, an “aspiring director and movie buff.” On the other hand, Reficco will be playing the role of Noa, “a striving, sardonic track star who’s working hard to get her life back to normal after a summer spent in juvenile detention.” She was last seen in Kally’s Mashup and Evita.
The rest of the main cast was revealed by HBO Max on March 8th via EW. Bailee Madison of Once Upon a Time fame will portray the role of a “sugary sweet teen mom Imogen.” She also talked about her skepticism initially to joining this reboot series considering her longtime fandom of the show. “I quickly realized that it’s not a reboot of the original, it’s a reimagination of what worked so well and what people loved, but we’re leaning into the horror and the mystery of it all.”
The remaining main friend group will include Malia Pyles as Minnie, FX’s Baskets fame, Zaria as Faran, Two Distant Stangers fame, and Mallory Bechtel of Hereditary fame will be playing a high school bully aptly named Karen. The series too will feature the mysterious “A,” but of course, their true identity will be revealed much (perhaps many seasons) later. Though there has not been any official announcement or confirmation from anyone attached to this reboot, Aguirre-Sacasa’s mention of “Easter eggs” does make us believe that we will be seeing some familiar faces from at some point or another the original series. “It would be so special to have the original Liars on,” Madison told EW of the possibility.
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin reportedly entered production at New York’s Upriver Studios in the summer of 2021, as reported by Deadline. The reboot series is scheduled to premiere in the summer of 2022 on HBO Max, as per EW.