As a teenager, producer Jeroen Koopman was already a fan of the Australian series Heartbreak High, which was a worldwide hit at the end of the last century. After more than twenty years, Koopman and his company NewBe are responsible for the successful reboot of the show, which can be seen on Netflix as of Wednesday. “I’m of course a bit biased, but I’m also a fan of the reboot,” the producer tells ANP.
A reboot of the favorite series from his youth is at the top of his list for Koopman. The series means a lot to him. “I was 14, something like that, and I lived in Middleburg. I was really a Zeeland boy, who happens to do figure skating. Everyone. I just wanted to be like that guy in the series.” According to Coopman, the success behind the original Heartbreak High, which ran from 1994 to 1999, is that a large group of different people introduced themselves in the series. “It was a really dramatic series, especially at the time.”
Koopman acquired the rights to the series in 2019 and has produced the reboot with Australian producer Fremantle for the past year. He hopes to be known to a new generation “in a similar way” with the new eight-episode series. “So we’re not making it for old fans, although of course it’s good for them to watch as well,” Coopman explains. “The story focuses on a new viewer.” He has deliberately chosen to tell a new story. “If I repeat something, I feel like it happened once. We’ve now tried to use something new. The common denominator between the old and new versions is the country of Australia. This country is an important component of the original series. You can see that in the new series, which was shot in Sydney.” .Australia is almost like a kid of sorts.”
Since the Heartbreak High reboot is shown on Netflix, it automatically means that a large audience can watch the series. “For us as a maker, that’s the ultimate goal, to be able to reach a global audience,” Koopman says. It is the first English language series he has made with his company, NewBe. “It is positioned as an Australian chain. It is special that this idea originated from Holland.”
In the new edition, Koopman and his team discuss a number of new global topics. “The topics that matter to the current generation a lot more, like climate, gender, diversity and identity. And of course social media plays a major role. It’s an integral part of this generation,” says Koopman.
As a maker, Koopman is already working on a new season in his head. “But it’s not really something that happens,” he explains. “Let’s do the first season first.” However, Koopman and his team are already working on a different path. “Knowing that Heartbreak High is coming out in September, we wanted to get some news if it was successful. We’re working on a big new project, which is in full development.”
The cast of the new movie Heartbreak High, which can be seen on Netflix from September 14, consists of Ayesha Madon, James Magus, Chloe Hayden, Asher Yaspinsk, and Thomas Weatherall. The original series was popular at the time in several countries such as Germany, the United States, Mexico and the Netherlands. The show was broadcast in 80 countries.