Netflix has announced that Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, Feud: Bette and Joan) has been cast in the lead role of its Untitled Sabrina Project, based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
The 18-year-old will star as Sabrina Spellman, who the network describes as “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.”
The unnamed series moved to the streaming service from The CW.
Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa promises “A darker, more macabre version of Sabrina.” The life of the comic-book heroine will be reimagined as a dark coming-of-age story with elements of horror, the occult and witchcraft. Netflix describes the series akin to Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, and will focus on Sabrina's struggle with her duality as half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the human world.
A 20-episode first season of the hour-long drama has been ordered by the streaming service, but no premiere date has been announced. The Untitled Sabrina Project will be second modern series based on characters from Archie Comics. Riverdale is a current hit on The CW.
Sabrina Spellman was previously portrayed by Melissa Joan Hart on The WB’s comedy Sabrina the Teenage Witch. That series was a lighter look at the comic-book character and featured Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick and a cat puppet voiced by Nick Bakay.