As horrifyingly entertaining as the opening episodes of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and co-EP/writer Lindsay Calhoon Bring's (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) "shared universe" spinoff Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin have been, it sounds like things are about to get a lot more "easter eggy" for Minnie "Mouse" Honrada (Malia Pyles), Tabby Haworthe (Chandler Kinney), Noa Olivar (Maia Reficco), Imogen Adams (Bailee Madison), and Faran Bryant (Zaria). Speaking with Digital Spy, Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed there will be major easter eggs in the upcoming reboot. And while there have already been rumblings that there will be established connections between the streaming series and the original PLL, it also looks like Riverdale (?!?) will be getting in on the action.
"We really wanted this version to stand on its own. I mean, it will always be in the shadow of Sara Shepard's books. It will always be in the shadow of I. Marlene King's television show, but we really wanted to imprint and get invested in our girls, our town, and this story," Aguirre-Sacasa shared when explaining why any connections to what's come before it won't be happening when the series first kicks off. But that's going to change in a big way beginning with the final trio of episodes. "We withheld the easter eggs. But starting around episode six, the easter eggs start coming fast and furious, and they're not subtle! They're very, very, very big easter eggs. Also, I'll tease this – not just to 'Pretty Little Liars,' but also perhaps to 'Riverdale' as well."
As for "Original Sin" going more of a horror route then its predecessor, Aguirre-Sacasa sees going in a different direction genre-wise was another way to make the series stand out. "When we looked back at the original, it flirted with horror, but its genre was really teen mystery/teen romance/teen drama, and we thought one way to really differentiate 'Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin' is to really embrace a completely new genre," Aguirre-Sacasa explained. "Lindsay [Calhoon Bring, co-creator] and I are both horror-movie fanatics, and we had done 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,' and that's more supernatural horror/demonic horror. What neither of us had ever done was work on a slasher show. So we thought, let's embrace that genre! That would be really, really fun."
Bailee Madison, Chandler Kinney, Zaria, Malia Pyles, and Maia Reficco star as the new generation of Liars. Joining the five are Mallory Bechtel, Sharon Leal, Elena Goode, Lea Salonga, Eric Johnson, and Alex Aiono. Now without further ado, here's a look at the first two episodes of HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (with two new episodes dropping on August 4 & 11 and a final run of three episodes on August 18), followed by featurette where the cast takes viewers behind the scenes of the series:
Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in present day, a disparate group of teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin committed by their parents two decades ago…as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-age, horror-tinged drama PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: ORIGINAL SIN, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand-new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.
Kinney's Tabby is an aspiring director & horror movie buff who's hiding a secret. Reficco's Noa is a striving, sardonic track star who's working hard to get her life back to normal after a summer spent in juvenile detention. Madison's Imogen is a true survivor and a final girl. She will drive the mystery of uncovering "A" as she fights for her life and the lives of her friends. Zaria's Faran is a poised, disciplined ballerina with aspirations to make it out of Millwood. But "A" isn't the only villain in Faran's life. In the world of ballet, it is death by a thousand microaggressions. Pyles' Minnie is the youngest of the Little Liars. Having survived childhood trauma, Minnie spends most of her time in a virtual world, but she is more than capable of taking on the dark forces of Millwood — including "A." Aiono's Shawn is Noa's (Reficco) supportive boyfriend and one of the most popular jocks at Millwood High. Bechtel's Karen is Millwood High's reigning "queen of mean" and an antagonist to the "Little Liars". Johnson's Sheriff Beasley is the domineering patriarch of the Beasley family.
Rowland's Chip is a major film buff who's not-so-secretly crushing on Tabby (Kinney). Gonzalez's Ash is a handsome transgender student at Millwood High and romantic interest to Minnie (Pyles). Cook's Henry is an arrogant yet deeply talented ballerino at Millwood high and partners with Faran (Zaria) on and off the stage. Kacavas' Greg is Karen's (Bechtel) picture-perfect boyfriend by day. By night, they share a secretly tumultuous relationship echoing that of Karen's own parents. Greene's Zeke is Faran's adoring father. Zeke struggles to navigate the hardscrabble world of the steel mill and the frilly, feminine world of ballet that his daughter inhabits.
Klena's Wes is Tabby's (Kinney) boss at The Orpheum, Millwood's second-run local movie theater. A devilishly handsome film school graduate, Wes & Tabby have bonded over their mutual love of film, but Wes's intentions are anything but pure. Jennings Grant's Madame Giry is the Dance Teacher at Millwood High. A ballerina herself, Madame Giry is exceedingly strict with her students, specifically Faran (Zaria). Stanton's Marshall Clanton is Millwood High's complete stress case of a principal. And nothing makes Principal Clanton more uncomfortable than our Little Liars. Ferrin's Martha Beasley is the matriarch of the Beasley family. Privately browbeaten by her husband, Mrs. Beasley does whatever she can to keep up appearances.
Crawford's Sandy is Karen's (Bechtel) most ardent admirer. A cringey tagalong, Sandy often boosts Karen's ego in an effort to stay out of her best friend's crosshairs. Altemus' Tyler is a Millwood High jock. No stranger to "locker room talk," Tyler is the poster child for young, toxic masculinity. Carter's Nurse Simmons is the School Nurse at Millwood High. Nurse Simmons is a confidante and a safe place to land for our Little Liars. Ordonez's Mr. Gardner is the Computer Science Teacher at Millwood High. Known as Mr. Gee, Mr. Gardner is a mentor and friend to Minnie (Pyles). Bean's Mr. Smithee is Tabby's film teacher at Millwood High. Rigid and stern, Mr. Smithee doesn't take kindly to challenges from his students.
HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is produced by Aguirre-Sacasa's Muckle Man Productions and Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, You) in association with Warner Bros. Television. I. Marlene King (who developed the original Pretty Little Liars), Michael Grassi, Caroline Baron, and Alloy's Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo are also executive producers of the series, which is based upon the bestselling series of books by Sara Shepard, published by Alloy Entertainment.