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Karena Evans to direct first episodes of the upcoming 'Gossip Girl' reboot for HBO Max

Karena Evans in Firecrackers
Karena Evans in Firecrackers. (Image credit: Good Deed Entertainment)

The news that Gossip Girl would be returning was met enthusiastically by fans, and it's not the last bit of exciting information they'll be met with for the series. HBO has announced that the pilot and second episode will both be directed by Karena Evans. Evans is known for both her directing prowess (mostly music videos for Drake in 2018), as well as for her starring role in Firecrackers. She also happens to be the first woman in history to win the Prism Prize Lipsett Award for her music video art.

Sarah Aubrey, the head of original content at HBO Max noted that “Josh Safran has found a perfect partner in Karena to illustrate how the landscape of social media, the upper east side and the world have changed since 'Gossip Girl' premiered 13 years ago. Additionally, her passion for inclusive storytelling matches Josh’s and we are proud to have her on this journey with us.” 

Gossip Girl writer and executive producer Josh Safran added "I couldn’t be more excited for Karena to launch the new series. Her vision, voice, and passion are incomparable. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to work with her, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what she has planned.”

The HBO series is based on the show Gossip Girl that originally aired on The CW from 2007-2012, as well as the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar. This new series will follow a new generation of New York private school teens who will have to learn how to navigate social surveillance eight years after the original blogger’s website went dark. The series will be produced by Fake Empire and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Executive producers will also include Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage of Fake Empire, and Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo of Alloy Entertainment.

Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.