Here’s your first look at Netflix’s dark reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Back in December, we reported on the news that the media streaming giants were adapting Archie Comics’s graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina into a two season, 20 episode series. Yesterday, creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted an image of Kiernan Shipka as the new Sabrina Spellman, alongside Ross Lynch as her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) April 4, 2018
The reboot (if indeed we can call it that) will act as a sister-series to The CW’s Riverdale, another IP of Archie Comics that has been reimagined in a dark, horror-like setting. For Squid readers that are most familiar with the franchise thanks to the light-hearted Nickelodeon sitcom of the 90s, know that this is set to be a completely different endeavour: it will be a coming-of-age tale that deals with the dark arts, sinister forces and the occult. The chirpy and PG world of Melissa Joan Hart’s Sabrina will be well and truly left behind:
“In the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, this adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit”.
Shipka found fame in AMC’s acclaimed period drama Mad Men, whilst Lynch starred in 2017’s My Friend Dahmer, a biographical drama about the American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. They will be joined in the cast by Lucy Davis, Miranda Otto, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez, Jaz Sinclair, Richard Coyle and Bronson Pinchot.
Given that Sabrina first appeared in Archie’s Madhouse #22 back in 1962, this isn’t the first time that the franchise has been reborn and repurposed for a modern audience. The success of Riverdale shows that there is a strong market for gritty reboots and from Netflix’s point of view, they know they have the audience for it – Riverdale’s teen viewers quadrupled after it became available on the streaming service, after all. It’s no surprise that they have moved fast with this one.