Lifetime Finds Its Joe Goldberg in ‘Gossip Girl’ Alum Penn Badgley for ‘You’

The 10-episode drama will be based on Caroline Kepnes’ novel of the same name.

penn badgley joins lifetime you caroline kepnes series

The Gossip Girl alum’s next acting break is definitely his creepiest yet.

On Monday (June 26), The Hollywood Reporter reported that Lifetime finally found its male lead in a former Gossip Girl hottie Penn Badgley for its forthcoming psychodrama, You. Badgley will make his return to the small screen to occupy the male lead in the upcoming thriller.

Based on Caroline Kepnes‘ novel of the same name, the novel will be adapted into a psychodrama that follows the cunning Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager whose impressionable encounter with a charming writer who enters his book shop onsets his unlikely fixation. Pining for her affection, Joe goes to horrifying lengths to manipulate any and all privacies keeping him from his prize: her.

I have yet to read the book in its entirety myself, but I made an attempt earlier in the year and failed laughably. After seven chapters, I thought I was going to go crazy with the book being written in such a disturbing fucking narrative.

The book’s namesake is somewhat derived from Joe’s voyeuristic approach to inspecting his prey, ahem, I mean, his unrequited love interest. He refers to her in a second-person frame of mind (addressing her as “You”) throughout most, if not all, of the book. I didn’t stop reading it because it wasn’t good, but because I knew it would deserve more attention than trying to speed read through it.

I thought Christian Grey was bad but Joe is on a whole ‘nother sinister level. Just imagine Fifty Shades of Grey written entirely from Christian’s ruthless viewpoint and you have Joe Goldberg. Needless to say, I will be picking this book up again before the series releases.

According to THR, Lifetime’s 10-episode miniseries will be led by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble (The Magicians) who will both script and executive produce the show.

Given Badgley’s humble origins as the genteel Dan Humphrey in CW‘s Gossip Girl, it’s hardly plausible to imagine the actor could adapt to the role of a serial predator like Joe Goldberg. Nonetheless, this will be an incredible chance for the Easy A actor to cast himself out of a “Good Guy” shadow that has been six years in the making.

Aside from Badgley’s involvement, there have been no other developments to the cast as of late.

How do you feel about Penn Badgley’s return to the small screen?

Have you read You? If so, tell us what you thought about the book in the comments below!

Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.