Netflix has found its Sabrina. Mad Men and Feud: Bette and Joan alum Kiernan Shipka has been tapped to star as the titular heroine in Netflix’s upcoming original series based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
According to the description, the Untitled Sabrina Project 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. 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.
Shipka will play Sabrina Spellman, an empowered young woman, half-human, half-witch, who 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.
Originally in development at the CW as a potential companion to Riverdale, also based on characters from Archie Comics, the untitled Sabrina project landed a 20-episode, two-season, straight-to-series order at Netflix early last month.
The Netflix series comes from the same team as Riverdale: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. TV. Aguirre-Sacasa, who penned the Riverdale pilot, and Lee Toland Krieger, who directed it, are reprising their roles on the Sabrina pilot episode. Aguirre-Sacasa executive produces with Krieger, Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter as well as Archie Comics’ CEO Jon Goldwater.
“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,” said Aguirre-Sacasa. “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.”
Goldwater added, “I am thrilled that Kiernan is playing Sabrina and have no doubt that she will embody the strength, courage and boldness that has made the character a fan favorite.”
Shipka most recently appeared opposite Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in FX’s hit event series Feud: Bette and Joan as B.D., the strong-willed teenage daughter of Bette Davis (Sarandon). She is perhaps best known for playing Sally Draper on seven seasons of the Emmy-winning AMC drama Mad Men. She recently was cast in a starring role in horror director John Leonetti’s next feature The Silence from Constantin Film and EMJAG Productions and in Charlie Kessler’s Lapham Rising, opposite Frank Langella, Candice Bergen, Kathryn Erbe and Jared Gilman.