When it came time to reprising Kelso in Netflix’s “That ’70s Show” sequel series “That ’90s Show,” Ashton Kutcher did not have a choice. As the actor recently told Esquire magazine, his former co-star and wife Kunis refused to let him turn down the sequel project. Not even a potentially bad script would let Kutcher off the hook.
According to Kutcher, when the pitch first came in for the duo to reprise their roles as Kelso and Jackie, Kunis told him: “[She] goes, ‘You know, we owe our entire careers to this show. It doesn’t matter what the script is, we’re doing it.’”
“That ’90s Show” was co-developed by “That ’70s Show” creators Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner and Mark Brazill, plus Lindsey Turner. Kunis has long said she owes her career to the original trio, so it’s not like she was going to let them down when the offer came in to pop up on the sequel show.
The new series, once again set in Wisconsin, centers on Leia Forman, the teenage daughter of “That ’70s Show” characters Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon). Leia spends the summer of 1995 making new friends while staying with her grandparents, Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp). All these original cast members appear in “That ’90s Show,” as does Wilmer Valderrama as Fez.
Just like in real life, Kutcher’s Kelso and Kunis’ Jackie are married in “That ’90s Show.” During an interview with Access Hollywood last fall, Kunis said she initially disagreed with the decision to marry Kelso and Jackie.
“My husband and I are together in [the new show], which is weird because we shouldn’t have been,” Kunis said. “You know what, I called B.S. I was like, ‘My character would be with Fez.’ I think that I ended up with Wilmer [Valderrama]’s character. And I was like [to Ashton], ‘Why are you and I together?’ And also, he was married when “’70s” ended to Shannon Elizabeth’s character, I think.”
“That ’70s Show,” which aired for 200 episodes on Fox between 1998 and 2006, ended with Kunis’ Jackie and Wilmer Valderrama’s Fez together. Although Kelso had a baby with Shannon Elizabeth’s Brook, he and Jackie did date for a period of time during the show’s run, so it’s not entirely out of left field for Jackie and Kelso to be together. Still, Kunis remains a Jackie-Fez shipper.
“Now we’re like 20 years — no, 16 years later, whatever it is, and now we’re married with a kid,” Kunis said about Jackie and Kelso in the Netflix series. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know about this one.’”
The first season of “That ’90s Show” is now streaming on Netflix.