Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has cast Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka in the leading role of Sabrina Spellman.
Archie Comics’ titular character was brought to life in 2016, in The CW series Riverdale, which has been well-received by audiences and critics alike. The tween-Twin Peaks brought with it so much success that Archie Comics signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television that has paved the way for more adaptations of their properties.
This was proved by the quick announcement of development on a Sabrina the Teenage Witch series at WBTV last year, as a Riverdale spinoff that was also expected to air on The CW. However, after a number of difficulties, the Sabrina series has since been picked up by Netflix, who confirmed a 20-episode, two-season order, which has recently seen the release of the series’ first concept art.
Archie Comics were the ones to announce Netflix’s addition of Shipka in the role of Sabrina. The show is set to be based on Archie Comics’ graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and has already been described as a dark coming-of-age story, dealing with horror, the occult, and obviously witchcraft – a lot darker than the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series that ran from 1996-2003.
Executive producer for Sabrina, 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.”
While the series will see many differences from its predecessor, we do know that it will feature many of the same characters, including Sabrina’s aunts, Hilda and Zelda – and given they are so integral to the story, it’s likely that they will be the next to arrive in casting news. As the roles begin to be filled and production starts, fans will have a better idea of what to expect from the series. But Shipka’s casting means that they’re off to a good start.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is expected to debut this year on Netflix.