Fans of Riverdale were disappointed to learn that The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina would not be the companion series they once assumed but another series using Archie characters, which may or may not take place in the same universe as Riverdale but will not cross over in the near future.
The series are tonally different, with Riverdale embracing a sexy noir mystery vibe while The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina goes for straight-up horror — but if you are a fan of Riverdale, it is likely you will find a good deal of common DNA between the two series.
“There’s definitely that same edge-of-your-seat quality to the show,” said series star Kiernan Shipka. “There’s obviously the timelessness of it, the really wonderful cinematography and fun references to different things, and the total suspense is right there. The shows are wildly different, but Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa is] brilliant, and he’s he’s behind both of them, so there’s definitely a vibe, just sort of a general, addictive quality to both shows that people are really going to respond to.”
Shipka was a fan of Riverdale before moving to Greendale, the town across Sweetwater River, where the supernatural is a part of everyday life.
“I was into Riverdale, very into Riverdale. I had to keep my cool when I met Roberto, for sure,” Shipka said. “I didn’t have that much experience growing up with the original series. I kind of knew it. You know the cat and you know the aunts and the general consensus but when I got the audition I read The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the comic that this is most similar to, and immediately became immersed in that world.”
That comic, from writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (who is the showrunner on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and artist Robert Hack, serves as a loose blueprint for the series, as Aguirre-Sacasa is the series' showrunner.
“It was crazy, but honestly, they’re so beautifully drawn,” she added. “I was very fascinated with them, and having read the first script and then reading them, my mind was reeling as to how the show was going to look and what it was going to be like. Needless to say, I was drawn in by it.”
The series deals with Sabrina Spellman, 16, as she finds her way in the world of magic and struggles between her destiny as a witch and the human life that she will have to leave behind.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season one will launch on Netflix on October 26.