Recently, the Hollywood Reporter broke that The CW was interested in producing a Sabrina the Teenage Witch “reboot” to go along with their other successful comic based show, Riverdale.
Listen, the Archie Comics Universe is kinda weird. Most of us grew up with these characters as cheesy but fun 50s teenagers in stories aimed squarely at little kids, but fans know that beyond all odds the characters in these stories have been successfully interpreted with an enormous variety of tone, from comedy, to drama, and yes, even horror.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, (yes, the same Sabrina from the 90s starring Melissa Joan Hart) is a part of the Archie Universe, and chances are if you didn’t recognize Sabrina from the TV show, you did recognize her from the old comics and cartoon:
But there is a darker side to Sabrina.
Beginning most notably with 2013’s Afterlife with Archie, Sabrina’s dark powers have at times been depicted straight within the horror genre, rather than the magical hijinks sub-genre of shows like Bewitched. In Afterlife with Archie, Sabrina’s attempted resurrection of Jughead’s dog Hot Dog is the impetus behind the apocalyptic outbreak that finds much of Riverdale’s inhabitants dead… or worse.
Then in 2014, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina launched and things got even darker and more insane.
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also the showrunner on Riverdale, the stories focused on Sabrina’s teenage years in the 1960s, but have a far more gothic and otherworldly tone than previous Sabrina books.
As the show Riverdale focuses more on the Archie gang’s high school drama, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series promises to focus on the occult side of the half-witch, half-mortal, Sabrina Spellman, described as a “dark coming-of-age tale that traffics in horror, the occult and witchcraft.” THR says that the new iteration is described as in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.
Excitingly, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is penning the adaptation of his own work, and the series might premiere during the 2018-19 TV season. He will executive produce with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater and Lee Toland Krieger. Berlanti Productions will produce in association with Warner Bros. TV.
People hold on tight to the nostalgia of their youth, but the strange and oxymoronic nature of Archie Comics is that they are both nostalgic and flexible. In their simplicity, they lend themselves to a wide array of narratives, and if this ends up being anything like the comics, that can be pretty swell.