Actress Kiernan Shipka – who has appeared in FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan and most famously in AMC’s Mad Men – will be playing Sabrina “the Teenage Witch” Spellman in the upcoming Netflix original from Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The news comes as the show enters pre-production, with a series premiere coming later in 2018. The new show, entitled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is a Riverdale spin-off based on the eponymous graphic novel series, which began in 2014.
According to a synopsis from Deadline:
[T]he 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.
Shipka will play Sabrina Spellman, an empowered young woman, half-human, half-witch, who 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.
Aguirre-Sacasa will write the pilot episode while Lee Toland Krieger – who also directed the pilot for Riverdale – will be behind the camera. The series will also be produced by Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater, and both creators had something to say about the recent news:
“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,” said Aguirre-Sacasa. “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.”
Goldwater added, “I am thrilled that Kiernan is playing Sabrina and have no doubt that she will embody the strength, courage and boldness that has made the character a fan favorite.”
One of the big questions right now is: what does this mean for Sabrina’s appearance on Riverdale? If she was cast in the role recently, she might not be appearing on the show until close to the season finale. However, if this is news the creators have been sitting on for a while, they might be announcing the casting to get fans geared up for Riverdale‘s midseason premiere on January 17th.
Regardless, we’re one step closer to Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and that’s a good thing.
Images: Netflix, AMC