Clone High Revival Flips the Script, Making Joan the Main Character ('Our Pitch Was: What If Joan Was Cool?')

Clone High? More like Joan High.

After spending two decades on literal ice, the cult classic comedy has been reanimated for a new season on Max. Only this time, it feels like there’s a new No. 1 on the call sheet, with Joan of Arc now guiding the narrative.

Whereas most of the original series found Joan pining for Abe while he was dating Cleo, the revival essentially flips the script, making Abe the primary piner (it’s a word!) while Joan is in a relationship with JFK.

Putting Joan in the spotlight “was a deliberate choice we made when we were figuring out the pitch for the new version of the show,” creator Phil Lord tells TVLine. “The main pitch was: What if Joan was cool?”

The premiere, one of two episodes now streaming on Max, introduces the thawed-out clones of 2003 to contemporary teen life as they search for their place in the new social hierarchy.

“All of the things that made Joan an outsider [in 2003] are suddenly popular,” creator Chris Miller explains. “And all of the things that made Abe into a protagonist that everybody could root for, suddenly made him into a villain.”

One thing that was never going to change, however, was the name Abe intended to say before getting flash-frozen along with his fellow clones at prom.

Having Abe choose Joan “was the most interesting thing for the story from the beginning,” Lord says. “I don’t think there was ever any debate. No one was ever gonna be, like, ‘No, he should be into Cleo!’ I think it is much interesting if he likes the person that we all want him to like, but that she has moved on.”

(Speaking of the clones getting frozen, click here for Lord and Miller’s story behind their decision to leave Gandhi in the meat locker… for now.)

Fans of the original Clone High, are you enjoying the revival so far? Grade it in our poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

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