Newly billed as an anthology series, the breakout first season starred Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia.
Cruel Summer is officially kicking off a new mystery for season 2. The Freeform drama, which starred Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia in the first season, has revealed its cast for the next chapter in the newly billed anthology series.
Sadie Stanley (The Goldbergs), newcomer Eloise Payet and Griffin Gluck (Locke & Key) will lead the ensemble in season 2, which will premiere later this year, the network announced Thursday. Kadee Strickland (Private Practice), Lisa Yamada (Little Fires Everywhere), Sean Blakemore (Greenleaf) and Paul Adelstein (True Story) also star in the latest installment.
The new season will be set in an "idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest," according to the official synopsis, and follows "the rise and fall of an intense teenage friendship." Continuing with the series' signature storytelling featuring various viewpoints, season 2 will approach the mystery from three timelines set around the time of Y2K. It will chronicle the early friendship between Megan (Stanley), Isabella (Payet) and Megan’s best friend, Luke (Gluck), the love triangle that blossomed and the mystery that would change their lives going forward.
Stanley (pictured) will play Megan Landry, a computer coder and honor student from a blue-collar family. Once Megan meets Isabella, she begins to live in the moment and embrace her true self. When events take a tragic turn, her long-held dreams are dashed and she is left wondering who she can trust.
Payet (pictured below) plays the mysterious Isabella, the daughter of foreign diplomats, who is spending a year as an exchange student with the Landrys. She quickly shakes up life in this small town, but her charm can’t hide the truth about her past or the real reason she came to live with the Landrys forever.
Gluck (pictured) will portray Luke Chambers, Megan’s lifelong best friend from a prominent family. Over time, Luke finds himself at a crossroads as he tries to establish his own place in the world, separate from the expectations of his powerful father.
Strickland will play Megan's hardworking single mother, Debbie; Yamada portrays Parker, a popular musician who becomes more cynical as the world takes a dark turn around her; Blakemore will step into the shoes of Sheriff Myer, an old-fashioned law-and-order type, under pressure to solve the first major crime in town; and Adelstein will play Steve Chambers, Luke's high-profile father.
Elle Triedman will serve as showrunner for season 2 and executive produce alongside Bill Purple, Tia Napolitano, Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple.
Last June, Holt opened up to ET about how her character, Kate Wallis', story wrapped up at the end of season 1.
"I was incredibly satisfied with how every story ended. I don't think that there is necessarily an end to any of the stories, just what we have seen visually the end. But, [I'm] incredibly satisfied," she said at the time. "I feel like Kate is... She's free. She is free of doubt, of other people, of herself. She is with somebody that she trusts and there's loyalty there. I think she deserves that. She deserved to win and we got to see that win with her."
Napolitano, who oversaw the first season, had this to say last summer when looking ahead to the show's creative future: "I know we want to deliver another really satisfying, complex mystery that is also a character study, that deals with some heavy themes, much like they were in this season."
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