Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina won't be a remake of the lighthearted 1990s sitcom, according to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Instead, Sabrina will take on black magic, her legacy as a witch, and even the devil himself when he comes calling for her soul on her birthday.
“The idea was to do a dark horror version of Sabrina, something that was more of a slow-burn horror, like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and all those great satanic horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s," Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly. “Sabrina has to stand up to the devil and these very formidable opponents, and someone like [Sabrina actor Kiernan Shipka] has the gravitas and assuredness to do that.”
“There’s this minor little thing of signing your soul away that sounds a little intense to Sabrina,” added Shipka. “She’s this young, really badass, outspoken girl who is still individuating herself and figuring out love, as well as honing in on her power and struggling between these two completely separate worlds.”
Still, there are classic elements of Sabrina's world that will be recognizable to fans - including Salem, Sabrina's black cat. But even Salem's casting came with some trouble - as Shipkais allergic to cats.
“I get a call that says, ‘Kiernan is allergic to the cat,’” Aguirre-Sacasa joked. “It did go through my mind: Could Salem be a dog?”
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina permieres October 26 on Netflix.