Entertainment The ‘Cruel Intentions’ musical playing Off-Broadway has quite the back story The history of “Cruel Intentions” dates back to 18th-century France. Lauren Zakrin and Constantine Rousouli in "Cruel Intentions," playing at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson By Matt Windman amNewYork Theater Critic Updated January 18, 2018 8:00 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email The new Off-Broadway musical adaptation of the 1999 teen drama flick “Cruel Intentions” (which is currently running at (Le) Poisson Rouge in the West Village) marks the latest incarnation of “Les Liaisons dangereuses,” the late 18th-century novel of lust, love, deception and death. Below is a user-friendly timeline to its evolution over the years. 1782 Just a few years before the start of the French Revolution, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ French-language novel (in which the Vicomte de Valmont seduces a convent-educated young girl and then a virtuous married woman) is published. 1959 Roger Vadim (best remembered for his romantic relationships with Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda) writes and directs a French-language film version, which is updated to the present day and contains music by jazz great Thelonious Monk. 1985 Christopher Hampton (“Atonement”) pens a stage adaptation, which travels from the Royal Shakespeare Company to London and then Broadway. The original cast is led by the late Alan Rickman. It is revived on Broadway in 2008, starring Laura Linney and 2016, starring Liev Schreiber. 1988 Stephen Frears (“High Fidelity,” “Victoria & Abdul”) directs an Oscar-winning film version of Hampton’s play, now titled “Dangerous Liaisons.” The starry film cast includes John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman. 1989 Miloš Forman (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Amadeus”) directs the film adaptation “Valmont” with Colin Firth and Annette Bening. 1990 A ballet adaptation using music by Vivaldi premieres in Berlin. 1994 An English-language opera adaptation premieres in San Francisco with Renée Fleming in the cast. 1999 In a decade of teen flicks like “Clueless,” “Scream” and “Can’t Hardly Wait,” the novel becomes the source material for the film “Cruel Intentions.” The cast includes Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair and Joshua Jackson. It wins multiple MTV Movie Awards and Teen Choice Awards. 2001 “Cruel Intentions 2” (a prequel) is released on home video. It is followed in 2004 by “Cruel Intentions 3” (a sequel with new characters). 2003 Catherine Deneuve and Rupert Everett lead a French TV miniseries that updates the story to 1960s Paris. The same year, a South Korean film adaptation is released. 2012 John Malkovich directs a modernized French-language stage adaptation in Paris. The same year, a Chinese film adaptation is released. 2013 The iBook “Dangerous Tweets” converts the original text into tweets written by the characters. 2015 A “Cruel Intentions” TV series is revealed to be in development. 2017 A “Cruel Intentions” stage musical receives a three-performance “pop-up” premiere and later returns for an extended Off-Broadway run. Its score is made up of songs from the film’s soundtrack and other ’90s pop hits. ‘Cruel Intentions’ runs at (Le) Poisson Rouge through March 16. 158 Bleecker St., cruelmusical.com. By Matt Windman amNewYork Theater Critic Matt Windman is the theater critic at amNewYork, which means he sees a show virtually every night of his life. They tend to vary in quality. He is also a lawyer. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.