Sabrina Spellman will soon come to life again on Netflix’s dark adaptation of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics — but how does her original portrayer feel about that?
“Indifferent, really,” says Melissa Joan Hart, who initially brought the magical heroine to life on the ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Netflix’s upcoming adaptation is said to be a much darker take on the character, who will now be portrayed by Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka. “People kept asking for it, and they were already doing Riverdale, so I guess it made sense,” Hart continues. “I think they’re doing it in a smart way — change it up, don’t make it the same. If you’re going to do the same show, it probably would fall on its face, but I think what they’re doing is probably the smartest way to reboot something.”
The Untitled Sabrina Project — from Riverdale boss Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Greg Berlanti — 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.
Hart, who will next direct a February episode of ABC’s The Goldbergs, says she’s not opposed to appearing on, or even helming an episode of, the Netflix series, which recently scored a two-season pickup. “Never say never, but it would depend on the character they wrote,” Hart says. “I just don’t know where I would fit in. I would definitely take a look at the material if they sent it along.”
The Sabrina remake comes during a development season littered with various reboots, reimaginings, and revivals, including Cagney and Lacey, Magnum P.I, L.A. Confidential, and Murphy Brown — and that’s just at CBS! There are also reboots in the works for Charmed and Roswell, to name a few. “Back in the day, it used to be that you took something that was successful and you did a twist on it,” Hart says of the current reboot trend. “Nowadays, everybody is just doing the same old stuff again. I think it’s a trend that will end, but then again, I said that with reality television, too, so who knows.”