It’s hard to believe that it has been a quarter of a century since Alicia Silverstone made her name in the high school comedy Clueless. Now she is about to return to the genre that made her a star after joining the cast of Netflix movie Senior Year, which has already cast Rebel Wilson in the lead, with Sam Richardson, Mary Holland, Justin Hartley and Chris Parnell among others. Will it be a happy homecoming for the actress, or will it turn into a school reunion nightmare?
The movie is being directed by Alex Hardcastle, best known for his work on the TV shows Grace and Frankie and Parks and Recreation, from a script by Brandon Scott Jones, and tells the story of a cheerleader who awakens from a 20 year coma and attempts to claim the prom queen crown that she missed out on at her old high school. With the usual “old student” awkwardness expected in abundance, it is unlikely that we are going to be looking at an Oscar winner in the making or anything we haven’t seen before in many previous ventures into this kind of “fish out of water” territory. The added element of Alicia Silverstone being involved does run in its favor, and in the end as long as it entertains its audiences then the high school comedy genre has produced plenty of hits over the years.
The official logline of the movie reads, “The comedy is set in 1997 and tells the story of Ruby, the most popular girl in her high school. She’s the captain of the cheerleading squad, dating the quarterback and is well on her way to becoming the prom queen. Girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. She has it all – until she falls off the top of the cheerleading pyramid and goes into a coma. Fast forward 20 years later and Ruby finally wakes up from her coma as a 37-year-old woman. She goes back to her high school and tries to assume her role as the star of her school. Most of all, she is still set on winning the crown as prom queen.”
Silverstone’s breakthrough role in Clueless in 1995 saw her playing Beverley Hills High student Cher, a turn that created many of the iconic moments that led to the film becoming the pop culture classic it still is. After Clueless, Silverstone wasted no time in building on the movie’s success, earning herself a multi-million dollar deal with Columbia Pictures and two years later a role as Batgirl in Batman and Robin, one of the few Batman movies to be critically panned. The film was referenced by the New York Post in a review of her 1999 movie Blast From The Past which said her performance “proves wrong anyone who gave up on her because of her ill-fated turn in the awful Batman and Robin. She’s quite believable as a tough chick who’s seen enough of life to give up on romance.”
Silverstone has continued to work consistently for the last two decades, with roles as diverse as the Kenneth Branagh directed version of Shakespeare’s Loves Labours Lost, comedies Scorched, with Rachael Leigh Cook and Woody Harrelson, and the independent made Global Heresy with Peter O’Toole, as well appearing on stage in a production of The Graduate on Broadway and as the villain of CGI sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. In the last few years she has become something of a Netflix baby, starring in the streamer’s reboot series of The Baby-Sitters Club and the upcoming animated He-Man revival, Masters of The Universe: Revelation. With the addition of Senior Year to that list, it is safe to say she seems to have found a new home on the platform. The movie is slated for release in 2022. This news broke at Deadline.