[Interview] Sara Goodman for I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Courtesy Prime Video
In the latest series, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, one year after the fatal car accident that haunted their graduation night, a group of teenagers finds themselves bound together by a dark secret and stalked by a brutal killer. As they try to piece together who’s after them, they reveal the dark side of their seemingly perfect town—and themselves. Everyone is hiding something, and uncovering the wrong secret could be deadly.

Ahead of the release of the I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER series on Prime Video, Shannon spoke with Executive Producer/Writer Sara Goodman, where they chatted about what tackling and revitalizing such a well-loved horror IP, her hands-on involvement on set with the cast as a showrunner, and that neverending writer struggle where you fall in love with characters but also fight about what they should do next.

For you, how exciting was it for you to be a part of this revitalization of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER?

Sara Goodman: It was an amazing opportunity that I just wanted to make sure I didn’t fuck up. [laughs] We can bleep me. We can bleep me. [laughs]

That’s fine. [laughs]

Sara Goodman: Well, I think that’s the pressure, right? We love a movie and so, to try to just remake that as a show, I think would have been a mistake. It was of the 90s and this is a very different time and it’s a very different kind of format, and so, I was really excited to get to take a different look at it and still pay my respects.

It does harken back to the original movie and stuff of that nature, but during the writing process, were you trying to not watch too much of the original movie or reading the book, and kind of just forming your own idea? If that makes sense…

Sara Goodman: Yes, it’s exactly what I did. I had read the book many years ago, and I had seen the movie many times over 20 years. So, before I said yes to doing it, I reread the book, and I rewatched the movie, and then I didn’t look at either of them until the writers and I were done writing the first seven episodes. And then, I went back to look at the movie to make sure that the little shout outs I had given were right and that I was paying respects, but I really felt like it was important to create new characters and to come from a place of [being in the] modern day.

I loved I Know What You Did Last Summer. That movie came out right at that time [in the 90s], and so watching this one now, it does feel very inspired by this time [we’re in], and I think that’s something that we really needed to be able to see. Plus, there’s the storyline of the two girls instead of….Was that something that you and the writers worked on together? Or how was that collaboration process?

Sara Goodman: We definitely came up with it together. There’s certain things that everybody brings, but I think using the twins as an external way of showing all of the characters’ duality, of everyone’s kind of identity issues, was a really nice way of doing it and I think it also immediately tells you that it’s going to be more psychological. It’s not just a flash. There’s a lot of psychological stuff horror-wise and drama-wise going on in the show.

So, when you were writing, especially the first one, was there a character that you found yourself relating to or that you just had more of a connection with?

Sara Goodman: I love all of them. Someone asked me which one am I, and I said, I’m definitely one of the twins but I’m not going to tell you which. [laughs]

I like that. [laughs]

BTS of IKWYDLS

Sara Goodman: I think everybody had…it’s funny. Because we’re in the room and the room consisted of four women and Gary [Tieche], who I like to refer to as Poor Gary who, by the way, I could not have made this show without. But you go in and out of hating and loving these characters and there were definitely fights. Maybe not fights, but people fight for what the character should and shouldn’t do, and are we pushing too far that we’re going to alienate everyone. But if that’s what the character would really do, we got to go there. So, there were times that, even if I am one of the twins, I hated one of the twins, but I hate myself too sometimes, so…[laughs]

Don’t we all?

Sara Goodman: Exactly! That’s what I mean!

I think everybody can find a bit of themselves in the evil twin, whether they want to admit that or not. And I think that that being able to have those complex characters that challenge the viewer is super important because it makes everything that much more interesting. So, for you, were you able to visit the set at all and see it as it was coming to life? Or were you more off set?

Sara Goodman: I was there all day every single day.

Wow. That’s awesome. That must have been great. Usually, when I talk to writers, they’ll say, “Oh, you know, I did so and so. But I didn’t really go on set.” So, that’s awesome. How did that inform the writing then?

Sara Goodman: Well, what happened was the first seven were written before we even cast it. So, then we cast it and I was hoping to go for the pilot and second episode, the first block, but it ended up that I just needed to be there for the rest of it. Because I’m the writer, but I’m also the showrunner. And so, ultimately, it’s all on me.

So, I was writing episode eight from there, and editing all the rest of the episodes, and working with the editors and all the rest of the episodes while I was also on set day. The pictures of me are kind of hilarious with my baseball hat on the ground wherever we were. But I’m very grateful that that’s how it ended up happening because the cast is young, and they’re super talented. But, to be able to be that one voice of the show, to be the one voice that they knew they could count on, because with television, there’s lots of different directors coming in and out and things are changing and we’re moving very quickly, and I think I felt very lucky to have been there for them and to make sure that everything was cohesive in that way because it’s a complicated show.

Is there anything that you hope people take away from this show? Because it is talking about a lot of things outside of just the horror. So, is there anything you kind of want them to be like yeah, it’d be cool if people kind of thought about that further?

Sara Goodman: Well, I think it would be cool if people were surprised by that it went a little deeper with the characters. I think I would like it if they’re surprised. I think I would like it if they like everybody despite themselves and they don’t feel so judgmental. [laughs] I was gonna say that they feel like in this heightened world of genre, I really hope that people come away feeling like, but those were real characters.

Yeah, that’s important because I think if they didn’t feel so grounded, it would be harder to connect.


I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, October 15, with new episodes airing each Friday following, leading up to the season finale on November 12. To learn more, check out our review!

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