‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’: Biggest Difference Between the Amazon Series and the 1997 Horror Movie

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a thrilling horror series available on Amazon Prime. Just in time for spooky season, IKWYDLS takes on a similar scary story, like the one told in the Jennifer Love Hewitt-led film. The series might be based in the same universe as the 1997 movie, but it’s not a continuation of the films. Showbiz Cheat Sheet spoke with Fiona Rene about the stand-alone Amazon Prime series and the biggest difference between it and the source material.

Madison Iseman looks into a mirror with lipstick that reads 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' in a still from the Amazon Prime series
Madison Iseman | Michael Desmond, Amazon Studios

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ on Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is releasing I Know What You Did Last Summer on Oct. 15, 2021. The series takes place in the same universe as the I Know What You Did Last Summer horror films. But it’s not a sequel, prequel, or continuation of the movies. 

Instead, the series follows an all-new cast including Madison Iseman, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Cassie Beck, Brooke Bloom, Bill Heck, and Rene. The first four episodes will release on Oct. 15. Then, Amazon will release new episodes of I Know What You Did Last Summer as scheduled: 

  • “Mukbang” – Oct. 22, 2021 
  • “Least You Had a Spare” — Oct. 29, 2021
  • “If Only Dogs Could Talk” — Nov. 5, 2021
  • “Your Next Life Could Be So Much Happier” — Nov. 12, 2021

Amazon Prime series introduces new characters in the ‘IKWYDLS’ universe

Rene plays Lyla, a local cop set on arresting the mysterious killer responsible for the fatal accident on the town’s graduation night. Her character, like the others in the series, is one we’ve never met before.

“Lyla’s one bad b****,” Rene tells Showbiz via Zoom. The characters aren’t the only difference between the I Know What You Did Last Summer series and films. The story takes place in Hawaii, a much different setting from the original film’s North Carolina town.

‘IKWYDLS’ on Amazon Prime is a reflection of modern society 

Characters and setting aren’t the only differences between the 1997 film and the 2021 Amazon series. “[I Know What You Did Last Summer] is of its own time,” Rene tells us. “It’s its own story. Sara [Goodman], our showrunner, [said] at Comic-Con how the books were of its time and the movie franchise was of its time. I think this show is very much of its time.” 

From the music to the tone and how the teen characters behave, the IKWYDLS series is very reflective of 2021. Rene says the comedy and horror elements feel different, having rewatched the franchise films before filming the series. 


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“I don’t know if we’ve become more numb as a society, but it’s definitely of its time,” she adds. “It tries to take its own spin while kind of keeping the original basis of these teens and what secrets they have.” 

Aside from being its own unique story, one thing about the I Know What You Did Last Summer remains the same. “It still keeps the heart of a slasher,” Rene assures. 

‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ started as a book

Before the 1997 film, there was the I Know What You Did Last Summer novel by Lois Duncan. The book, which was released in 1973, follows a group of teens who accidentally crash into a person after leaving a party. Presuming their victim to be dead, the group hides the body and makes a pact not to tell anyone. 

Despite the success of the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, which includes three movies, Duncan was not happy with the film adaptation. Her daughter was murdered in the summer of 1989, and Duncan took it upon herself to find the killer. As such, Duncan was “appalled” at how her book was reshaped into a movie premise (via AV Club). 

Duncan died in 2016, so we’ll never know what she thinks of the Amazon series I Know What You Did Last Summer. But horror fans can steam IKWYDLS on Amazon Prime beginning Oct. 15.