The Plastics are back in a woke reboot of ‘Mean Girls’

‘Mean Girls is set to hit theatres worldwide this week. Picture: Instagram.

‘Mean Girls is set to hit theatres worldwide this week. Picture: Instagram.

Published Jan 10, 2024


It’s 2024 and the reign of the “Mean Girl” plastics appears to be stronger than ever.

You also “can’t sit them” and on Wednesdays, they still wear pink.

All the infamous catch phrases from the hugely successful 2004 “Mean Girls” movie are set to return but this time, with a twist

Twenty years later, the release of “Mean Girls”, which is set to be released in theatres across the globe this week, is expected to include some of its acclaimed original content while introducing some new aspects for the modern-day audience.

And while the introduction of new characters and musical elements are set to redefine the movie, the plot will largely remain the same.

‘Mean Girls’ is set to hit theatres worldwide this week. Picture: Instagram.

The original movie and its adaptation are centred on a new pupil, 16-year-old home-schooled Cady Heron who gets welcomed into the top of the social food chain by an elite group of popular girls, the Plastics, ruled by the conniving queen bee, Regina George.

But chaos ensues when Cady makes the mistake of falling for Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels.

She finds herself prey in Regina’s crosshairs. As Cady sets out to take down the group’s leader, with the help of her outcast friends Janis and Damian, she must learn how to remain true to herself while navigating the cut-throat jungle of the high school world.

The original movie, which defined culture and generations, was the brainchild of American actress, comedian, writer and producer, Tina Fey.

She is also the creator of the musical reboot. Alongside actor Tim Meadows, the pair will reprise their characters of Ms Norbury and Mr Duvall at the fictional North Shore High School, two decades after the original “Mean Girls” movie.

“I’m very excited to bring ‘Mean Girls’ back to the big screen,” Fey told Playbill, a US magazine for theatregoers.

“It’s been incredibly gratifying to see how much the movie and the musical have meant to audiences.”

The film is based on the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, which ran from 2018 to 2021 and had 883 performances.

And much like the Broadway show, the big-screen iteration will swop Cady’s voice-over for songs, some of which many avid fans of the original movie will instantly recognise.

There are also some familiar faces for the “Mean Girls” movie reboot but most of the characters have been recast. This includes the role of Regina George, regarded as “the plastic-in-chief”, who was initially portrayed by Rachel McAdams.

But for the musical adaptation of the film, the “queen bee” will be played by Reneé Rapp, who also took on the character for the Broadway musical version of “Mean Girls”.

The main character of Cady, initially played by Lindsay Lohan, will be portrayed by Angourie Rice, with Christopher Briney cast as the handsome and alluring Samuels.

Regina’s minions, Gretchen and Karen, will be played by Bebe Wood and Indian actress Avantika Vandanapu, respectively.

For the 2024 version of the film, Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), will be more than just Cady’s friends who want revenge on the Plastics – they’re also narrating the story.

The 2004 movie was a riveting success, with its influence spreading faster than those Regina-inspired fashion trends.

Even if you have never seen it, you’ve probably heard someone mention it, with the likes of Ariana Grande recreating the “Jingle Bell Rock” number for her “Thank U, Next” music video.

“You can have full conversations in ‘Mean Girls’. It was embedded in our DNA,” Samantha Jayne, who co-directs the new movie with Arturo Perez Jr, told Entertainment Weekly recently.

“It’s kind of like how they say a baby is born every five seconds. I think a ‘Mean Girls’ quote is said somewhere in the world every five seconds.”

“Mean Girls” grossed $130.1 million worldwide when it released in 2004 and it has become an enduring classic.

Critics praised the movie’s humour and performances.

This was also one of Lohan’s most successful movie roles, which went on to earn her several accolades, including three Teen Choice Awards and two MTV Movie Awards, and, in 2021, The New Yorker listed her portrayal of Cady Heron as the 11th-best performance of the 21st century.

And while anti-bullying themes and the underlying message of accepting others remains central to the adapted storyline, the musical version will have more diversity and more open discussions about sexuality.

This is as fans will notice that Karen Smith is now Karen Shetty and Janis Ian is now Janis ‘Imi’ike.

“I was writing ([the original) in the early 2000s and really taking from my teenage years in the mid-to-late ’80s, and the world has changed in a lot of ways for the good, (but) a lot of problems are still there,” Fey told Entertainment Weekly.

∎ “Mean Girls” will be showing at cinemas nationwide on Friday.