‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’: everything we know about Netflix’s dark and spooky reboot

Netflix is plotting two seasons of a brand new remake, out in October '18...

Reboot revival is everywhere. Just look at the ongoing popularity of a newly returned Twin Peaks, the returning Scream: The TV Series, and the resurgence of noughties cosy-com favourite Gilmore Girls  for evidence of this. Next in line for a comeback is Sabrina The Teenage Witch – everyone’s favourite pre-Potter spellcasting saga.

Based on the Archie Comics series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the well-known 1996 show starred  Melissa Joan Hart as lead character Sabrina Spellman. She lives in a fictional suburb with her 500-year old aunts Hilda and Zelda and their talking cat, Salem. Taking a plot diversion away from the original comic story (In which Sabrina uses her powers from a young age) in the television show Sabrina discovers that she has magical powers on her 16th birthday.

Now Netflix have confirmed plans for a new Sabrina The Teenage Witch reboot, set to run for two seasons at least. Here’s everything we know right now.

Recent updates:

  • ‘Inside the World of Sabrina Spellman’ featurette video released (October 16)
  • Behind-the-scenes images shared (October 16)
  • First trailer for the new series shared (October 3)

What will the show be called?

Named after the original Sabrina… comic book series, the new show will be called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Do we know a release date yet?

Yes. According to Netflix, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will launch on the platform on October 26, 2018 – that’s around about when they launched Stranger Things 2 last year and is, not coincidentally, in time for Halloween.

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Time for CAOS. Oct 26.

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How many seasons have Netflix planned?

As Variety reports, CW and Warner Bros. Television first began developing an hour long drama based around Sabrina’s character last year. However, Netflix confirmed in December 2017 that the reboot would be heading to their service instead.

The TV giant confirmed that it has given the go-ahead to two seasons of the show, which according to a press release “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. There are reportedly 20 hour long episodes on the way.

Who is behind the show?

Many of the team behind Netflix favourite Riverdale are also at the helm of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the show. Helpfully, Aguirre-Sacasa is also Archie Comics’ Chief Creative Officer.  He has already confirmed that Netflix’s reboot will be nothing like the jokey ’90s show, explaining that his “is a darker, more macabre version of Sabrina.”

Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind, The Age of Adaline) is directing The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, Riverdale) of Berlanti Productions is producing. According to Archie Comics,  Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lee Toland Krieger are all executive producers.

Which actors are confirmed?

Kiernan Shipka – who plays Sally Draper in Mad Men – is set to play the lead role of Sabrina, while Homeland’s Miranda Otto will take on the role of her Aunt Zelda. Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman) meanwhile will play Aunt Hilda.

We learned that Sabrina’s high school sweetheart Harvey Kinkle would be making a comeback when Aguirre-Sacasa posted a photo of the show’s script on Instagram. and Netflix has now revealed that he’ll be played by Disney actor Ross Lynch.

Ross Lynch posted a picture of  the cartoon Harvey Kinkle from the original comic on Instagram back in March, and also dyed his hair brunette around the same time.

Michelle Gomez will play the role of Mary Wardell, Sabrina’s teacher, and Chance Perdomo will bring a brand new character -Sabrina’s cousin Ambrose – to the show. Jaz Sinclair, Richard Coyle, Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, Abigail Cowen, Lachlan Watson and Bronson Pinchot are also confirmed.

The name of the cat playing Salem isn’t yet known, but the new Sabrina reboot will feature an actual, real-life feline. In the ’96 show, Salem was played by a puppet.

How different will the reboot be?

Melissa Joan Hart, who played Sabrina in the original television series, confirmed that she’s not involved in the new show; but she did voice her support for the new spin-off. “I think what they’re doing is smart, doing the darker version. I think it’s going to be more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer than the Sabrina that most people know,” she said in an interview with E! News.

Netflix is also hinting towards a darker take on the story of Sabrina. “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,” reads a press release.

Ross Lynch also confirmed a gloomier retelling in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Our show is really different,” the actor said. “If you just google it you’ll see you can tell the difference between the old [comics] and the new ones. Our show is based off the newer ones.”

Is there a trailer yet?

Yes! On October 3, Netflix shared the first trailer for the upcoming series. In it, Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina sets up the premise for the show, explaining she has to choose between the human world and the supernatural world. She is seen taking part in a ritual in the woods, where blood is daubed on her forehead before she changes her mind and runs away. Watch the full trailer below.

On October 16, Netflix released a video feature titled ‘Inside the World of Sabrina Spellman’. The clip sees Kiernan Shipka speak about her character, along with insight from Lucy Davis. Check out the video below.

On the same day, behind-the-scenes images were released showing the making of Season 1. Check out the shots below.

Netflix shared two images in August, showcasing Sabrina in her full witchy get-up. The first image shows Shipka as Sabrina while the second image shows something a little more sinister. It looks like Sabrina getting ready to become a Bride of Satan under the instruction of Father Blackwood, played by Richard Coyle. Her aunts (played by Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto) are of course, present while the three Weird Sisters also watch the ceremony. Get a load of the guy in the rabbit mask too. Creepy. See the pics below.

Will ‘Sabrina’ cross over with ‘Riverdale’?

Given that so many of Riverdale‘s team are involved in the show, the rumours  swirling about a possible crossover moment with Sabrina… are understandable. The fact that Sabrina lives in a town named Greendale – just as she did in the original comic book series – also opens up avenues for a meeting of shows. In Riverdale, there is a neighbouring town called Greendale.

However, Lynch talked down the idea. “There’s no talks of a crossover right now, [and] I don’t know if there ever would be one because the shows are on different networks,” he explained to Entertainment Tonight, adding “anything’s possible.”

And what else do we know?

It’s impossible to guess exactly what tone The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will strike, but a new @sabrinanetflix Instagram account provides a few extra clues. 

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come through, blood moon

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Covered in pentagrams, original comic book illustrations, and witchy symbolism, it certainly points towards a more spooky return for Sabrina later this year.