The conniving Kathryn Merteuil makes a spiritual return in the new Netflix movie.

Break out your CD player and start blasting "Bitter Sweet Symphony" because Cruel Intention's legacy lives on in Netflix's Do Revenge.

The upcoming film's writer and director, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, revealed that she had dreamed of casting Sarah Michelle Gellar in her smart teen comedy. "She was my first dream choice," she told IndieWire in a new interview. "And it was one of those things where you don't think she's going to do it."

But once Robinson learned that the actress was open to reading the script for the part of the movie's prep school headmaster, she knew she wanted to give Gellar's iconic (and infamous) Cruel Intentions character, Kathryn Merteuil, a rebirth — at least in spirit.

Sarah Michelle Gellar as a headmaster in the new movie 'Do Revenge' and as Kathryn in 1999's 'Cruel Intentions'
| Credit: Kim Simms/Netflix; Everett Collection

To do so, Robinson rewrote all of the headmaster's lines using Kathryn as inspiration. "I just heard her and sat there and literally thought about Kathryn from Cruel Intentions," she said. "Like, if she was the headmaster of the school, what advice would she give?" 

Gellar loved the script, recognizing the similarity between the two characters as well, and signed on.

"To me what's even better than paying homage is to redefine and bring something to a new generation," Gellar told Netflix's Tudum. "And that's exactly what Jenn does with this film."

Gellar continued, "There is definitely a version where the headmaster is the adult Kathryn, but that will be up to the audience to decide."

The movie, about two bullied students who decide to get revenge on each other's tormentors, combines Hitchcock's classic story Strangers on a Train with the biting vibes of '90s teen touchstones like Jawbreaker, Clueless, and, of course, Cruel Intentions.

Judging from the trailer, it's perfect for anyone who loves outrageous fashion and bold color palettes — as well as deceit, high drama, and backstabbing.

Do Revenge premieres Sept. 16 on Netflix. Watch the trailer above.

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