Archie Comics have confirmed that Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka has been cast as Sabrina Spellman in Netflix’s new show about the infamous teenage witch. We’re big on Archie and its affiliated comics and shows. That means we’ve got everything crossed for this new interpretation of Sabrina.
Archie Comics gave this synopsis for the show:
An empowered young woman, half-human, half-witch, Sabrina 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.
The comics that the show will be based on – Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – are great and the show will have huge crossover opportunities with Riverdale. It’s an amalgamation that would make any Archie fan as excited as Jughead stumbling upon a warehouse full of burgers (the potential is limitless).
Kiernan Shipka has held a special place in people’s hearts ever since Mad Men hit the air. She’s always held a vibrant boldness in her performance – a visible internal fire that would make her perfect as our favourite teenage witch. It’s a casting decision that we’re mostly on board with (there’s only a few other actresses we might have chosen) and it’s easy to see why she’s been chosen.
The new show is currently untitled, but it’s already been given a 20-episode order by Netflix (notably – a long episode count than Riverdale). Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa – the writer of these Sabrina comics and the man who developed Riverdale – will write and executive produce this new show.
Also on board are Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater, who all currently produce Riverdale. The current information is that ‘it’s not known yet’ whether this show will co-exist with Riverdale, but I’m betting it’s a firm yes.
You simply don’t create a show like this without taking advantage of the shared universe that already exists within the comics, especially when Berlanti is on board (who oversees the shared DC universe on The CW).
Aguirre-Sacasa had this to say, at Archie Comics, on Kiernan:
“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.”
If this show succeeds, and we hope it does, then this paves a path for the Archie horror comics too. Aguirre-Sacasa also writes Afterlife with Archie, which I love to bits, and Sabrina makes an appearance in that.
That’s a move in right direction to getting even the slimmest chance of seeing Archie‘s horror moments on screen. It’s unlikely, because the show crossing over with Riverdale (if it happens) will mean our current Riverdale characters will already exist within Sabrina’s universe.
That fact means it would be tough to introduce brand new, horror-ridden (werewolf Jughead and so forth) versions of our group, unless it’s treated as some kind of bizarre alternative universe episode. We can only wait and see, but for an Archie fan, this is all hugely exciting news and it’s all one giant step in the right direction.
Image credits: Archie Comics, Kiernan Shipka