sabrina the teenage witch is getting a dark, gothic makeover from kiernan shipka

The new Netflix series is also taking cues from Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.

by i-D Staff
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08 January 2018, 5:37am

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina via Archie Comics; Kiernan Shipka via @kiernanshipka/Instagram.

Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka has been cast in the titular role of Netflix's Sabrina the Teenage Witch reimagining. The as-yet-untitled series will set a decidedly darker tone than the famed Melissa Joan Hart sitcom, drawing from a recent Archie Comic by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Roberto, who has also signed on to lead the Netflix Sabrina series, cites Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist as key inspirations for his chilling comic and the show to follow.

The Sabrina project was first conceived as a CW-Warner Bros. joint venture, set to debut during the American network's 2018 season as the one-hour special The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It's since been re-homed at Netflix, with Warner Bros. are still on board.

In January last year, Roberto dropping a very early hint about what was to come for the spellbinding character, telling Entertainment Weekly, “Some people don't even know that Sabrina is in the Archie family. There is absolutely a universe where Sabrina pops up in Riverdale, or one town over in Greendale."

With Kiernan on board, it looks like Greendale -- Sabrina's hometown in the Archie canon -- is about to come to life in a major way. A Deadline have it, Netflix are promising “a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft," with Kiernan's Sabrina painted as "brave to the point of recklessness."

“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,” Roberto said in a statement shared by Deadline. “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.” In 2017, the now 18-year-old actress starred in Ryan Murphy's latest anthology series, Feud: Bette and Joan.

Last month, Goth Sabrina (working title) netted an impressive two-season, 20-episode, straight-to-series order from Netflix -- so while we can't say exactly when we'll get to meet Kiernan's take on the witch, we do know that we'll be seeing a whole lot more of her.