Mean Girls trailer: Cult high school film is back – here's what to expect

Noughties classic returns with a Gen Z cast as well as some familiar faces and catchphrases

From left, Bebe Wood as Gretchen, Renee Rapp as Regina and Avantika Vandanapu as Karen in the new Mean Girls. Photo: Paramount Pictures
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The first trailer for the new Mean Girls movie has been released.

The film, which is expected to be released in January, is an adaptation of the Broadway musical that ran from 2018 to 2020.

The original 2004 film starring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabert was a generational hit. The film contributed many catchphrases to the pop culture lexicon, including "that is so fetch"; “get in loser we’re going shopping”; and “on Wednesdays, we wear pink.”

But what is the new film about and how does it differ from the original?

A new twist

The trailer reveals a familiar storyline, scenes and aesthetic to the original film but with some notable changes.

What hasn’t changed is the story that follows a shy and reserved Cady Heron starting high school after being home-schooled for most of her childhood.

Cady is drawn to the super-cool and exclusive clique, "the Plastics", who sit at the top of the school hierarchy. The infamous, mean and terrifying Queen Bee, Regina George, is their leader.

The trailer shows Cady dealing with the same obstacles she faces in the original film. Does she stay loyal to the first friends she made at high school, the arty outcasts, or does she pledge allegiance to the alpha Regina? Cady also finds herself falling for Aaron Samuels, Regina’s out-of-bounds ex-boyfriend.

As frenemy battle lines are drawn between Cady and Regina, chaos ensues across their high school where friends and teachers are sacrificed as collateral damage.

While the story feels the same in the new trailer, the remake has been positioned as having a “new twist” by creator and writer comedian Tina Fey.

While supposedly an adaption of the popular Broadway musical based on the original film, the trailer has left some fans confused as it doesn't feature any musical numbers, except for a few choreographed shots.

Instead, it shows a new group of Gen Z students with social media and an Instagram-recognisable aesthetic featuring heavily throughout.

New cast

The trailer features a slew of young talent, some of whom have already made a name for themselves.

Cady, who was played by Lohan in the original film, is now played by Australian actress Angourie Rice, whose acting credits include Spider-Man: Far From Home and Black Mirror. Regina, who was played by McAdams, is now played by Renee Rapp, known for her work on the series The Sex Lives of College Girls. Rapp also played Regina on Broadway.

Gretchen Wieners, originally played by Chabert, is now played by Bebe Wood. Karen Smith, originally played by Seyfried, is now renamed Karen Shetty and played by Avantika Vandanapu.

Aaron Samuels is played by Christopher Briney, known for his work on the series The Summer I Turned Pretty. Meanwhile, Cady's outcast friends Janis and Damian are played by Auli'i Cravalho, who is known as the voice of Disney’s Moana, and Jacquel Spivey.

Familiar faces

The trailer also reveals some famous faces reprising their roles.

Fey is back as Ms Norbury, the caring maths teacher who notices how smart Cady is and attempts to help her and the other students navigate through the complex social relationships in high school.

Also back is actor Tim Meadows as Principal Duvall, the stern and comical authority figure that none of the students, or teachers, take seriously.

The remake also stars Jenna Fischer, Busy Phillips, Jon Hamm and Ashley Park.

The film is directed by Arturo Perez Jr and Samantha Jayne, with music by Fey's husband Jeff Richmond, who has composed music for sitcoms such as 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Lyrics to the songs are penned by Nell Benjamin, known for her Tony Award-winning work in the Legally Blond musical.

Updated: November 09, 2023, 10:40 AM