Kiernan Shipka, best known for playing the surly (and awesome) Sally Draper on Mad Men, has been cast as Sabrina Spellman, aka Sabrina the Teenage Witch, in Netflix’s untitled show (developed under the title The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) based on the Archie Comics graphic novel.
Deadline reports that showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who heads the popular Riverdale series, said of the star’s inclusion: “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. 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.”
So don’t expect a standard ’90s revision of the ABC series starring Melissa Joan-Hart — though we will be seriously sad if the Netflix show doesn’t include Sabrina’s snarky talking cat Salem in some form or another. The character of Sabrina almost made her return in the popular CW series Riverdale, named after the fictional town where Archie and the gang live. But baby goths everywhere are rejoicing that everyone’s favorite teen magic-maker gets to have her own moment in the spotlight.
EXCLUSIVE: Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper in Mad Men, is set to star in horror director John Leonetti’s next feature The Silence from Constantin Film and EMJAG Productions. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment is launching international sales on the project in Cannes next week.
Project is produced by Robert Kulzer (Resident Evil), Alexandra Milchan (Wolf of Wall Street) and Scott Lambert (AMC’s The Terror) with Constantin CEO Martin Moszkowicz, the prolific German industry veteran behind the Resident Evil franchise, exec producing.
The Silence is based on the best-selling novel by fantasy-horror writer Tim Lebbon (Star Wars: Into The Void and The Cabin in the Woods) and is adapted by The Van Dyke Brothers, Carey and Shane (Chernobyl Diaries). The project is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin principal photography in September.
Story follows the terrifying tale of Ally, a deaf teenager, and her family whose world is turned upside down by a deadly and primeval force. In the fields near her New Jersey home, a colony of bats are attacked by a parasitic insect and soon morph into a new lethal species called Vesps. As the blind, winged creatures quickly grow, spread and attack the human population, Ally’s heightened senses become her strength. She can feel when the Vesps are close and realizes that even the slightest noise summons them in huge numbers. She and her family seek refuge in the woods where they must live in total silence. Amidst the creature chaos, they learn that humans can be just as dangerous when they are fighting to survive.
Teen actress Shipka starred as Sally Draper, the oldest child of Don and Betty Draper, in AMC’s Mad Men for eight years. She recently starred in Ryan Murphy’s TV mini-series Feud: Bette and Joan opposite Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. Prior to that, she starred opposite Emma Roberts in horror thriller The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
Leonetti is the director behind horror-thriller Annabelle, which took $250M at the worldwide box office. His most recent feature, Wish Upon, starring Joey King, Sherilyn Fenn, Shannon Purser and Ryan Philippe, bows in the U.S. on July 14 via Broad Green Pictures.
The Van Dyke Brothers, who penned Oren Peli’s Chernobyl Diaries, wrote sci-fi horror feature The Watching Hour, which is currently at New Line. They’ve also sold their sci-fi feature Dreamland to Sony, with Will Smith’s Overbrook producing. The duo are currently working on The Rift, a supernatural drama TV series that they wrote and sold to UTV with Blumhouse producing and recently penned Possession 2 for Sam Raimi and Lionsgate.
Meanwhile, Constantin’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter grossed $312.2M at the global box office earlier this year, pushing the franchise past the $1B mark and making it the biggest video-game-based franchise of all time.
Shipka is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Leonetti and the Van Dyke Brothers are repped by CAA.