By now, streaming audiences no doubt realize that Netflix’s upcoming Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (starring Kiernan Shipka) will barely resemble the perky, family-friendly show of the mid 1990s with the titular protagonist played by Melissa Joan Hart. Rather, the reboot will heavily favor a dark tone (similar to the CW’s Riverdale take on Archie comics) while allowing a little bit of light to emerge. We’ve already seen the above still of Sabrina at her Dark Baptism, which will arrive after she reconciles her half-witch, half-mortal status, and such settings will be heavily supported within the series by some hellraising art from Hellraiser director Clive Barker himself.
In an interview with io9, the show’s production designer, Lisa Soper, revealed how Barker generously contributed more than 150 of his own paintings for the series. Those terrifying pieces of artwork will be visible throughout the Academy of Unseen Arts, the school for witches that’s lifted straight from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comics. According to Soper, Barker was thrilled to offer his lingering artistic touch to the series:
Soper said she befriended Barker thanks to her work on Sabrina, and chatted with him about the project and her plans for the set design. According to Soper, Barker was immediately on board to help out.
“We spoke about kind of the idea and the themes behind what we were doing here and he said, ‘Why don’t you come down, spend the weekend, take a look through all the artwork and pick out what you want?’” Soper said.
The series will also include plenty of other tributes to horror greats (Netflix is going all in on the genre lately), not merely including references to Hellraiser but also Dario Argento classics like Suspiria (which will also soon see a terrific-looking remake through the eyes of director Luca Guadagnino). As far as the tone of the new Sabrina goes, viewers should expect something in the middle of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, and Soper also casually said that she’s trying to convince Barker to do a series cameo, maybe as a teacher at the academy. While we’re at it, maybe anyone chanting, “Candyman, Candyman, Candyman” as part of a spell would be neat, too. All in fun, of course!
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will land on Netflix on October 26.