Netflix has officially announced an October premiere date for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Starring Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka in the title role, The Chilling Adventures is set to be a darker re-imagining of the character's story, which was popularized by actress Melissa Joan Hart in the late 90s and early 2000s. The 10-episode series also stars Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Ross Lynch, Michelle Gomez, and Bronson Pinchot as Sabrina's villainous principal.
Starting out as part of Archie Comics, Sabrina was originally created by writer George Gladir and artist Dan DeCarlo. The new show, however, will be brought to life by Riverdale showrunner and Archie Comics' chief creative officer: Robert Aguirre-Sacasa. Originally devised as one of many proposed spin-offs from the CW hit, The Chilling Adventures will be "a completely separate universe" from the characters with which Sabrina once shared a page. Instead, the show jumped from The CW to Netflix, and will explore Sabrina's struggle to manage both the mortal and witch aspects of her life. Though the announcement proved a disappointment to some, it did little to stem the hype overall, with Netflix already pre-ordering a second season, and Aguirre-Sacasa teasing fans with intriguingly vague posters and concept art.
Fans won't have to wait too much longer, however. Speaking at their Television Critics Association panel (as reported by TVGuide), Netflix announced that the episodes will drop on October 26. The panel also offered a glimpse of the tone fans can expect. A row of Sabrina cosplayers were used to make the announcement, holding candles and ominously reciting "something wicked this way comes," before revealing the premiere date on the back of their letterman jackets.
Unfortunately, actual footage of the show remains to be seen, and anything regarding plot at this point would be mere speculation. The casting of Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood and Tati Gabrielle as the leader of the equally antagonistic Weird Sisters, however, suggests that Sabrina will have more than her fair share of foes to deal with. This could mean that The Chilling Adventures may follow a format similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wherein she faces a villain of the week, with a season-long "Big Bad" drifting in and out of the story. Then again, it could just as easily go the opposite way and be a serialized tale that mixes a myriad of elements. If anybody can be trusted to do the character and this story justice, though, it's Aguirre-Sacasa. Not only has he worked for years within the world of Archie Comics, he has a pedigree when it comes to more horror-based stories, having most famously been the author of the Afterlife with Archie series, which saw the town of Riverdale ravaged by a zombie apocalypse.
Given the fact it will now air on Netflix rather than The CW, the show is also free of the constraints that might otherwise have plagued the potential of the show if on network television. Netflix, after all, are well-known for giving their creators almost free-reign over the content, meaning Aguirre-Sacasa will be able to offer something genuinely creepy along with the over-the-top, twist-laden drama and self-aware humor demonstrated in Riverdale. The release date itself is a fitting one. Firstly, it makes a lot of sense for Netflix on a business level, as they look to sow up audience numbers over the Halloween period, especially in the wake of Stranger Things' third season being delayed until the Summer of 2019. But equally, and maybe even more importantly, given that The Chilling Adventures is being described as in the same vein as Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, it could provide fans with the perfect Halloween binge.
Season 1 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres October 26 on Netflix.
Source: TV Guide