Riverdale‘s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who also write the Afterlife with Archie comic, has been working on bringing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch reboot to TV for awhile. At first the project landed with The CW, and had the potential to be a spinoff of Riverdale. But, the project was later snatched by Netflix and given a 20-episode, two-season order, with Sacasa still at the helm. That move seems like it may open up the storytelling a lot more for the series, which is based on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic (a title that the TV show now shares, according to Sacasa’s Twitter account (see below).
Not long after the project moved to Netflix, Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka was announced as the series’ lead, with the logline, “An empowered young woman, half-human, half-witch, Sabrina is just beginning her dark education as a sorceress, even as she tries to maintain a normal life as a sophomore at Baxter High. Intelligent, compassionate and brave to the point of recklessness, Sabrina is all that stands between us and the forces of darkness that threaten our world.”
Check out Sacasa’s announcement, and the first look photo of Shipka as Sabrina:
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) May 2, 2018
It feels like there’s not going to be much that this new series shares with Melissa Joan Hart’s TGIF version from the 90s, but we’ll see. When the project was first announced, Nick Romano wrote up a great piece about what he’d like to see the adaptation address — although at that time it was still tied to The CW and Riverdale, and a few of the ideas are thus outdated. However, for those who haven’t read the comics, it still gives you a good idea of how dark and crazy this series could get, including the potential for “a coven of witches transmogrify into naked, grotesque demon women who mutilate corpses.” Further,
“Salem’s more serious, Zelda and Hilda eat human flesh when they’re not transforming into giant spiders to spook their niece’s bullies, and things don’t work out well at all for Harvey. Sabrina, too, relishes in the craft as she constantly uses her magic to make Harvey fall in love with her, bringing beings back from the dead, shirking her witchy responsibilities to the coven (who will eviscerate her if she’s acting wise), and changing the scoreboard at the school games for her own enjoyment. “
Now that it’s on Netflix, anything could happen! Stay tuned for more updates as the series moves into production. The series also stars Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Ross Lynch, and a new cat as Salem Saberhagen.