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Jawbreaker
Still from “Jawbreaker” (1999)via Mubi

Teen cult film Jawbreaker to become a TV series

The 1999 deadpan comedy that turned Rose McGowan into a fan fave is being remade for the small screen

Cult teen film Jawbreaker will be adapted for a sickly sweet television series on E! by its creator Darren Stein. Much like the 1999 film on which it’s based, the inciting incident will be a homicide. Despite sharing the same aesthetic and origin story, however, the new show will be completely original.

“It's not set in high school for starters,” Stein tells me. “It has the candy-coloured yet dark aesthetic of the film and begins with a death that may or may not be accidental. And of course there’s an epic makeover.”

In the original, one of the popular “Flawless Four”, Liz, is murdered after a prank gone wrong, and she chokes on a jawbreaker. The rest of the clique quarrel about how to handle the aftermath of her death. Courtney Shayne (Rose McGowan) threatens the girls to keep quiet. But Fern Mayo (Judy Greer) is racked with guilt over the entire episode.

The original was born out of the era where teen films were massive box office, after 1988’s Heathers set the pace for what would become a golden age for sarky teen comedies. (Heathers is similarly slated for a TV series this autumn). Jawbreaker was made on a shoestring budget in a matter of weeks, but surpassed expectations. It continues to amass a dedicated cult following.

It was also a big break for actress-turned-director Rose McGowan. “Jawbreaker was my second film – or maybe it was my third – but I still didn’t know what I was doing, so I based my character completely on Gene Tierney in a movie called Leave Her to Heaven,” McGowan told us two years ago. “She pushes her stepson who is in a wheelchair off a cliff.”

No date has yet been announced for when the series will air. Watch a clip from the film below: