The XX Factor

Killing Your Classmates Is So 1988

Fox is making a TV show about disenchanted teenagers killing their classmates ? That’s right: apparently a TV adaptation of the 1988 cult classic, Heathers , is currently in development. According to Variety , main writer Mark Rizzo “is still kicking around ideas on how to update Heathers 20 years after the film became a favorite among the underground set. But the characters from the movie are all expected to be there.”

For those who haven’t seen it: Back in 1988, before either Winona Ryder or Christian Slater stepped on the wrong side of the law, they starred together in Heathers , a movie that made killing your friends funny. Winona played a reluctant popular girl, who secretly hates the uber-bitchy members of her clique. When she meets dark, brooding, homicidal Christian, together they off said girls, and mask the deaths as suicides. (Bonus angsty tidbit: In 2007, Slater announced that he had fallen for Ryder on the Heathers set , and carried a torch for her ever since).

These days, a teen comedy about killing one’s classmates feels a bit gauche. Case in point: In Mean Girls , basically a Heathers remake, Lindsay Lohan’s character barely allows herself to joke that her evil ex-friend, Regina, dies after accidentally getting hit by a bus.

It’s hard to imagine how Heathers will stand up to serialization, and how the movie’s dark humor will work on prime time. But Fox’s adaptation begs the question: In a post-Columbine world, can a movie about killing your classmates translate to the small screen? I have my doubts.