I loved Sabrina the Teenage Witch back in the 90s (and I had a major crush on Melissa Joan Hart), so I was over the moon when Netflix announced they were developing a new version of the property.
Based on Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s The Chilling Tales of Sabrina graphic novel, the upcoming show will be an hour-long drama that takes a more horror-inflected, occult and generally spookier perspective on the source material. The streaming service describes it as “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.”
But while it looks like there might be a little less slapstick, at least Salem the cat is returning. We know this because Aguirre-Sacasa took to Twitter earlier today to post the below photo.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Sabrina, this might look like your common cat. He’s not, though. Salem Saberhagen is actually a 500-year-old witch sentenced to spend 100 years as a (talking) cat by the Witches Council for attempting to take over the world. Though his cruel megalomania makes him a villain as a human, it turns out those qualities are a pretty good fit for a cat. In the 90s series, he was played by a not entirely convincing animatronic cat puppet – but it seems that technology has advanced enough to make it look like an actual cat is speaking on screen.
No word on who’ll be voicing Salem, though we know that Mad Men alumnus Kiernan Shipka is cast as Sabrina and that Paper Towns‘ Jaz Sinclair is playing her best friend. Shipka gave one of the best performances by a child actor I’ve ever seen on TV as Don Draper’s long-suffering daughter in the aforementioned AMC drama, so I’m definitely eager to see what she does with a starring role.
No word on when the show will hit Netflix, but given that it’s filming now, I’d hope we’ll be seeing Sabrina the Teenage Witch sometime in the second half of 2018. Stay tuned for more.