'He's All That' Fun Fact: Is The Netflix Hit A Sequel To 'She's All That'?

He's All That Addison Rae Padgett Sawyer Tanner Buchanan Cameron Kweller Netflix
Kevin Estrada / Netflix

Is “He’s All That” the sequel to “She’s All That”? It is the question that has understandably had viewers buzzing since the reboot got released on Netflix. This article has the answer. By now, you have probably seen “He’s All That,” a refreshed take on the original 1999 film starring Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Jr. in the lead roles.

The Netflix original puts a twist on “She’s All That” by utilizing a gender switch to tell a linear version of the original story. One of the year’s surprises, probably not on your 2021 bingo card, is that “He’s All That” is funny, tender, and topical. Its ties to the original are strong, though, and with Rachel Leigh Cook starring in the reboot/remake, it muddies the waters of where the original and the new movie begin and end. 

So, Is “He’s All That” A Sequel?

No, and it is a bit difficult to explain, but here it goes. Original “She’s All That” star Rachel Leigh Cook’s character in “He’s All That” is named Anna Sawyer. Anna is the mother of Addison Rae’s character, Padgett Sawyer, and a nurse. As fans will likely recall, Cook’s “She’s All That” character is aspiring artist Laney Boggs.

Between the character’s different name and that detail, it is clear that Rachel Leigh Cook is not playing her original alter ego. Hence, the first sign that “He’s All That” is “his” own thing. Interestingly, the reboot does not even use the original mythos to draw upon for the story. For instance, this viewer somewhat expected the characters to mention what happened with Laney and Zack as inspiration for Padgett’s dare. 

It Is A Remake With Easter Eggs

“He’s All That” is a reboot that does not connect to its predecessor canon-wise. It uses an original concept to explain why Padgett ends up accepting the makeover dare while dropping Easter eggs throughout its run. Furthermore, Rachel Leigh Cook’s “HAT” character says she loves the song “Kiss Me” when it comes on, and Cook’s “She’s All That” co-star Matthew Lillard also puts in an appearance. 

Like Rachel Leigh Cook, Lillard plays a character with no connection to his “She’s All That” role. In the original movie, Matthew Lillard starred as Brock Hudson. Lillard plays Principal Bosch in the remake, first in a strictly vocal capacity before joining the rest of the cast on-screen in several funny scenes. He also mentions the school’s penchant for dance battles. A call back to “She’s All That.” 

All told, though, the movie provides winks to knowing viewers without being a sequel. You can see for yourself by streaming the reboot on Netflix. If you are wondering, is “He’s All That” good? It is actually great. The delightful movie stars TikTok superstar Addison Rae and “Cobra Kai” actor Tanner Buchanan, who shine in the non-sequel.