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The teenage witch is officially back in action, but this time she's streaming on Netflix and she's gone dark. The new show will be more closely based on the Archie comics series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and will follow teen witch Sabrina Spellman through her days at Baxter High and "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," according to Netflix.
Executive producer (and current chief of Archie Comics) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa described this Sabrina as "darker, more macabre" than what we've seen before, and that's certainly evident based on everything we know so far...
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa shared the new poster for the upcoming Netflix series. It's spooky and cute.
The show has long been described as "tonally in the vein of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist," meaning we're in for some serious horror and some seriously powerful ladies, with a focus on "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."
Netflix didn't just order a pilot for the untitled show—they went ahead and ordered it straight to series for two whole seasons, meaning there will be no waiting for renewal.
The show was originally developed for the CW as a direct Riverdale spinoff, but the actual connection to Riverdale isn't yet known.
"TBD," Aguirre-Sacasa told reporters when asked whether or not there could be a crossover. "It's been talked about...Never say never."
Greendale, Sabrina's hometown in the comics, exists in the world of Riverdale, but so far, magic does not, so it would be quite a change for Riverdale to suddenly make that jump into the supernatural. However, the comics do it all the time, so it's not totally out of the question.
Mad Men and Feud star Kiernan Shipka will bring this darker Sabrina to life. The 18 year-old was at the top of everyone's wish list for the part, according to Aguirre-Sacasa.
The character description reads: "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."
Meet Sabrina's human BF who has no idea she's a witch: Teen Beach Movie star Ross Lynch is set to take on the role of Harvey, with the official character description reading, "The prince charming of this dark fairy tale, Harvey is the son of a coal miner, a dreamboat and a dreamer, completely unaware of the dark forces conspiring to keep him and Sabrina apart."
One of Sabrina's aunts will be played by hilarious Wonder Woman star Lucy Davis. This Hilda is described as "more nurturing than Zelda, Hilda's motherly nature and warm sense of humor belie a wicked, ghoulish streak. She is as adept at brewing spite jars against her family's enemies as she is at concocting love potions for the students at Baxter High."
The original Aunt Hilda has expressed her full approval of this casting.
"Congratulations," Caroline Rhea tweeted. "You will be a brilliant #Hilda2.0[.] It was the greatest role. This makes us long lost twins? Best witches[.]"
When Lucy Davis thanked her, Rhea continued, "You are hilarious in everything! ... I'm a size 9. My shoes are yours."
Miranda Otto, known for Lord of the Rings, 24: Legacy, and Homeland, has been tapped to play "disciplinarian" Aunt Zelda, the "Cain to Hilda's Abel."
"Proud and devout, Zelda believes there is no greater honor than serving the Dark Lord as a member of the Church of Night," reads her official character description.
The comedic 1996 version of the character was played by Beth Broderick, who has not yet weighed in on the casting.
Jaz Sinclair, known for appearing in a few episodes of The Vampire Diaries and the movies Paper Towns and When the Bough Breaks, will play Sabrina's BFF Rosalind Walker. She's the daughter of Greendale's minister and is described as "brash, empowered, and outspoken."
Dr. Who fan fave Michelle Gomez will play Sabrina's favorite teacher, Ms. Wardell, who has a secret alter ego. She sometimes finds herself possessed by the devil's handmaiden and becomes Madam Satan, a sultry, cunning manipulator who's always trying to lure Sabrina down a darker path.
Newcomer Chance Perdomo plays Ambrose, Sabrina's English warlock cousin. He lives with the Spellmans (in a funeral home!), but was placed under house arrest by the Witches Council, meaning he can't leave. He's described as "witty, puckish and pan-sexual, he is one of Sabrina's partners in crime, always up for mischief."
Aaaanybody else think he kinda sounds like the human version of Salem the talking cat?
"I think what they're doing is smart, doing like the darker version," she told E! News recently. "I think it's going to be more like Buffy the Vampire Slayer than the Sabrina that most people know."
Hart starred as a very comedic Sabrina, whose problems did not tend to involve a teacher possessed by Satan and whose show did not ever tend to invoke the tones of horror movies, so she is certainly right that this is a whole new kind of Sabrina.