Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa knows how important it is to have strong female characters on television — which is exactly why he’s created them.
Aguirre-Sacasa, 44, spoke with Us Weekly at the premiere of his new show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, on Thursday, October 18, where he touched on how he and the show’s star, Kiernan Shipka, developed Sabrina Spellman’s portrayal. “We talked about Sabrina as a character and how she was a feminist and how she fought for what she believed in and she was a crusader,” he told Us at the event, held at the Hollywood Athletic Club in Los Angeles. “We talked a lot about how shows about witches and movies about witches are at their core about female empowerment, female sexuality. And how it had suddenly gotten very scary to be a young woman in this country.”
Although the Netflix series is rooted in magic, there are some themes that are inspired by the harrowing realities stemming from current events. “My sister has two kids and she talked to me about how scared she was that her daughter’s basic rights were going to be taken from her. And that’s one of the things we started talking about. You know, the best horror always has a social message. Even Night of the Living Dead, which we see in the first episode of Sabrina, was a comment on the times, and you see the kids talking about that,” he continued. “So to me, I love that horror kind of engages with these issues that are sort of banging around the country.”
Fans of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch — which starred Melissa Joan Hart from 1996 to 2003 — shouldn’t expect too many similarities between the original TV show and this series, which is based on the Archie Comics and a spinoff of CW’s Riverdale.
Aguirre-Sacasa also touched on a possible crossover between Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina — but he won’t do so without careful consideration. “It has to be the right story at the right time,” he told Us, “but, I’m hopeful.”
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres on Netflix Friday, October 26.
With reporting by Antonia Blyth
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