The casting was confirmed on Twitter in January, with showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – who also created the comic book series the show is based on – releasing a statement.
“We’re 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,” he explained. “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.”
Some viewers may recognise 18-year-old Shipka from Mad Men, where she previously played Sally Draper.
Details of Sabrina’s character in the series were leaked in December 2017, telling us exactly what we can expect from Shipka in this role.
According to Netflix, the series will see “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.”
Sabrina is reported to be “intelligent, brave, reckless and fiercely loyal” – but it remains to be seen how Shipka makes the character distinct from Joan Hart’s portrayal.
Alongside Sabrina, her ghoulish, 500-year-old aunts Hilda and Zelda are also returning, played by The Office star Lucy Davis and Homeland actress Miranda Otto.
In this Sabrina reboot, Aunt Hilda is described as warm-hearted and good natured with a wicked streak, while Aunt Zelda is far sterner. Claiming to “have never known love”, Zelda is fiercely devoted to the Dark Lord.
Meanwhile, Sabrina’s love interest Harvey Kinkle will be played by actor/singer Ross Lynch, who played a teenage Jeffrey Dahmer in biopic My Friend Dahmer.
What’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina going to be all about?
As the teaser video shows, this version is going to be a whole lot darker than its sister show – with Netflix executives comparing Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to more classic, gory horror movies including Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.
The Archie comic which the series based on shows Sabrina struggling to choose whether she should succumb to her sorcery and live life as a full witch, or pursue a mortal life with boyfriend Harvey. While she takes her time to decide, the evil Madam Satan returns from Hell to seek revenge on the Spellman family.
“[The original cast] is not involved,” she said. “The rights have reverted back to Archie Comics, and they’re doing it as the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is a darker sort of twist. The new show sounds more about witchcraft and dark stuff.”
Will there be a Riverdale crossover?
With the executive producers of Riverdale, another show based on an Archie comic, also at the helm of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we could potentially see characters’ worlds intercept.
Riverdale star Shannon Purser, who plays Ethel Muggs on the show, has previously hinted she would like to see Sabrina meet the Riverdale gang.
“I’m always interested in the supernatural and it would be so cool to have that element on the show,” she explained.
But showrunners have quickly put a hex on that notion, with Aguirre-Sacasa explaining, “I think right now we’re just making sure that the shows have their own identities and set of rules.”
However, Aguirre-Sacasa has also revealed he is working on a separate Riverdale spin-off – will we see characters collide?
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