The dark reboot of magical teenage sitcom Sabrina The Teenage Witch is surging ahead, with Netflix already picking up two seasons. The eponymous character of Sabrina Spellman has just been cast, with Kiernan Shipka (The Blackcoat’s Daughter, Mad Men) taking the role.
At a time where a lot of beloved childhood shows are receiving darker, edgy revamps, such as Riverdale and IT, Sabrina is no exception. The reboot, written and produced by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Carrie 2013), aims for occult themes and a more adult tone, according to the synopsis:
“Untitled Sabrina Project imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally 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.”
A far cry from the camp and cheese of its original, it doesn’t look like they’ll be bringing back the comedy duo aunts or bad animatronic cat the 90s series was known for. Shipka looks to be a great fit for the reboot however, and her eerie performance in The Blackcoat’s Daughter proved that she can do serious as well as channel the grittier, more psychological elements the new series seems to be going for.
On casting Shipka, Aguirre-Sacasa had this to say:
“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.”
Production are clearly excited to have her on board, although no other cast has been chosen yet. Joining Aguirre-Sacasa as executive producers are Lee Toland Krieger, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater. Krieger will also direct.