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Teen cult classic Cruel Intentions is heading back to the big-screen for an exclusive one week engagement in honor of its 20th anniversary. Sony Pictures is re-releasing the 1999 film in theaters nationwide for one week beginning March 22.
Cruel Intentions transposes the tale 1782 novel Les Liasons Dangereuses from 18th century France to the perils of modern-day elite high school. Conniving Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) challenges her step-brother Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) to a bet — he must bed virginal Annette (Reese Witherspoon), their prep school headmaster’s daughter, before the end of summer break. Annette famously wrote an op-ed pledging to save herself for love and marriage.
If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian’s beloved car: a vintage 1956 Jaguar. But if he wins, he gets the one things he desires most but can never have: Kathryn herself. Intrigue and backstabbing are afoot as they embark on this plot of deception. Selma Blair also stars as Cecile, a naive young woman whose mother has enlisted Kathryn’s help to fit in at school — little do they know that Kathryn and Sebastian are plotting to ruin Cecile’s reputation as revenge on Kathryn’s ex-boyfriend who is now dating Cecile.
The film’s 20th anniversary has spawned a host of celebrations, including this cinematic re-release. On May 3, the beloved Cruel Intentions soundtrack, which features tracks from Aimee Mann, Blur, Counting Crows, Fatboy Slim, Placebo, The Verve, and more, will debut on vinyl in a special 20th Anniversary edition pink LP. Additionally, the first nationwide tour of the 2015 off-Broadway show Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical will launch this month.
Fans can learn more about the making of Cruel Intentions in a forthcoming book, Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen by Brian Raftery, which hits shelves April 16. Gellar, Phillippe, Witherspoon, and Blair all feature in brand new interviews in the book, and it also includes insight from writer-director Roger Kumble.
Cruel Intentions has captured the imagination of fans for 20 years, getting a riotous response each time anything resembling a reunion takes place. The series even sparked a potential television sequel, following Kathryn Merteuil 15 years after the events of the film as she seeks to control company Valmont International and the son of her late-stepbrother, Bash. Sarah Michelle Gellar was attached to reprise her role, but ultimately the network passed on the pilot.
If you can’t get enough of that infamous kiss, cue up “Bittersweet Symphony” and visit Cruelintentions.com for a list of theater locations and to buy tickets for the movie’s return to the big screen.