The average high school experience has changed a lot over the past two decades, but 2004’s Mean Girls remains a frighteningly relatable tale of social cliques and teenage power struggles. The movie's popularity persists so it comes as no surprise that Hollywood is remaking the movie for a new generation even though the original holds up to this day.
Set to release on January 12, 2024, the very first trailer for the Mean Girls remake — which will simply be called Mean Girls — has just been released. And it looks pretty good. You can watch it below. The idea of remaking the nearly flawless original seemed sacrilege to me upon its announcement, so consider me impressed.
Naturally, there’s a new fresh-faced cast including Angourie Rice as Cady Heron (who was played by Lindsay Lohan in the original), Reneé Rapp as Regina George, Bebe Wood as Gretchen Weiners (no confirmation if she’s still trying to make fetch happen) and Avantika as Karen Smith. Other new cast members include Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels, Auli’i Cravalho as Janis and Jaquel Spivey as Damian.
Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that there are a couple of returning actors. Tina Fey, who wrote the original screenplay and the one for this remake, is back as teacher Ms. Norbury, while Tim Meadows will also reprise his role as the school principal.
Curiously this movie was originally set to release straight on Paramount Plus but was later upgraded to a full theatrical release. The studio executives must believe they have a hit on their hands, and considering how many quotes from the original have made their way into the pop culture vernacular this remake could be a big success.
Mean Girls remake is actually a musical
The trailer hides it well, but the Mean Girls remake is an adaptation of the Mean Girls musical production that premiered in 2017 at the National Theater, Washington D.C. before opening on Broadway the following year at the August Wilson Theater.
It’s worth noting that the original stage production was generally well-received when it debuted, and it was nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Original Score in 2018, but it walked away from the award show empty-handed.
The Mean Girls remake trailer contains a few shots that depict the cast dancing, but this first look is set to the track “get him back!” by Olivia Rodrigo rather than giving us our first listen to any of the musical’s hit songs. Even the movie’s logline released alongside the trailer doesn’t directly confirm that it’s a musical instead labeling it simply a “new twist on a modern classic.”
The exact reason why Paramount seems to be hiding this crucial aspect of the movie is unknown. Perhaps it's because the musical genre can be rather divisive, or maybe they would rather the remake is initially judged on the quality of its cast/comedy rather than its musical element. Whatever the reason, the musical note in the Mean Girls title card is one of the only real hints at the movie’s true nature for now.