‘Sabrina’ Star Will Take the Netflix Reboot to ‘Different Places’

Kim Taylor-Foster
TV Riverdale
TV Riverdale Netflix

The man behind the Sabrina reboot, Greg Berlanti, has his fingers in lots of pies. The Arrowverse boss is also executive producer on Riverdale as well as Black Lightning, a superhero show currently existing outside the Arrowverse, which includes Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. He’s also just finished directing duties on groundbreaking teen comedy-drama Love, Simon. Talk about spinning plates.

But Berlanti found time in his busy schedule to speak to FANDOM about the upcoming Sabrina series for Netflix, which is based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, about a teenage witch. Sabrina Spellman was last seen in live-action form on the small screen in the popular Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which ran for seven seasons from 1996 to 2003 and starred Melissa Joan Hart.

From Mad Men to Teenage Witch

Shipka as Sally Draper with her dad -- Jon Hamm's Don Draper -- in Mad Men.

Kiernan Shipka is set to take on the role in the new series. Her previous credits include roles in Mad Men and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Berlanti had this to say about the young actress:

“She is brilliant. She has such a poise and a presence to her. Whenever you’re casting a young person in some of these roles you really feel like they have to be able to carry a whole show on their back and she has that quality in spades. She really is a star. A true star. So, it will allow the show to go to all these different kinds of places. Because she’s such a talent herself.”

‘Riverdale’ Crossover

There’s been a lot of speculation about a crossover with Riverdale, the town and characters of which Sabrina is connected to in the comic. And it’s something that Berlanti doesn’t rule out. FANDOM asked him for the latest on crossover potential.

“Well, the [shows will] be on two different networks [in the US] so there won’t be immediate [links],” he said. “Obviously, it’s the same creators in the same studio, so there’s always a chance. I would never say never. But it’s not done. I think right now we’re just focused on cropping the first years of Sabrina and making sure that Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] who creates it has all the tools he needs to do his best work.”

Aguirre-Sacasa himself would love to bring Sabrina into the world of Riverdale. At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, he said:

“Listen, I’ve made no secret I love Sabrina. Sabrina is part of the Archie universe. I would love to introduce her. It’s tricky. The big challenge is we’ve got this universe [in Riverdale]. It is dark and there is crime but there is no supernatural [element], and it does feel like if you’re going to introduce that character the rules of the world change. So part of it is figuring out how that is actually going to work. I probably have already said too much but it’s certainly something I aspire and hope to do in some way.”

More Archie Spin-Offs?

Sabrina was originally going to be introduced in an episode of Riverdale.

If there are no immediate plans for a crossover, presumably that means that there won’t be a backdoor pilot? There had been some discussion that we might see Sabrina introduced during an episode of Riverdale.

“It was originally planned that way but what happened was we had a window where Netflix made a bid and so Netflix ended up stepping in and committing to two seasons,” said Berlanti. “I don’t know how they’ll divvy up but [there are] 20 episodes of Sabrina that we’re making this year.”

As for future Archie Comics adaptations and spin-offs, they’re not out of the question either.

“I’m up for doing anything that Roberto wants to do,” said Berlanti. “He’s not just one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with, he’s the biggest fan of Archie ever in the history of the world. And so it’s such a happy coincidence that he also happens to be such a talent himself. So whatever he dreams up next, we will be there to support him.”

Catch the Greg Berlanti-directed Love, Simon in cinemas now.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.