Netflix's Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, casts Kiernan Shipka in the starring role of Sabrina Spellman. The CW premiered their television adaptation of Archie Comics' titular character in the winter of 2016 with Riverdale. The Twin Peaks-inspired high school drama/murder mystery was well received by critics and viewers alike in its debut season. In fact, the series was so successful, Archie Comics signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television that would pave the way for even more adaptations of properties under the publisher's banner.
That came to fruition quickly as it was announced in 2017 that WBTV was developing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series spinoff from Riverdale that was expected to also air on The CW. However, the Sabrina show has since moved to Netflix, where it was confirmed for a 20-episode, two-season order, and development continued. Recently, the first concept art for the Sabrina TV series was released, and now the show has found its titular star.
Archie Comics announced Netflix has cast Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) in the role of Sabrina Spellman. The show is based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and is described as a dark coming-of-age story that deals in horror, the occult, and - of course - witchcraft. Sabrina executive producer and Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said of Shipka's casting:
"We’re all such huge fans of Kiernan’s work that when we started talking about who this new incarnation of Sabrina could be, her name was on everyone’s wish list. This is a darker, more macabre version of Sabrina, and we’re incredibly excited for people to see Kiernan make this iconic character her own."
Based on the description of Netflix's Sabrina series, in addition to the subject matter of the graphic novel being used as the show's source material, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be incredibly darker than the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series that ran from 1996-2003. Both shows tell coming-of-age stories focused on the character of Sabrina Spellman, but that seems to be where the similarities end. Instead, Chilling Adventures will draw more on the horror genre, with Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist said to be inspirations.
Still, we do know that The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will feature familiar characters, including Sabrina's aunts, Hilda and Zelda Spellman. Since they're integral to the heroine's story, it's likely the next casting news to arrive will be either Hilda or Zelda - or both. Plus, we know the show is casting a fourth member of the family named Ambrose, who is Sabrina's cousin. As these roles are filled and production begins, fans will have a better idea of what to expect from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV series. But the casting of Shipka in the role of Sabrina is certainly good news so far.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is expected to debut on Netflix in 2018.
Source: Archie Comics