The ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ Series Creator Has Clarified Why Salem The Cat Hasn’t Spoken (Yet)


As Halloween approaches, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has trended heavily on social media while audiences (and critics) express enthusiasm for a darker, more Riverdale-meets-Rosemary’s Baby version of the perky, family-friendly show of the mid 1990s. One key difference, though (and this omission has annoyed some viewers) is that Sabrina’s cat, Salem, no longer appears as a wise-cracking puppet who literally speaks.

IndieWire recently spoke with series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, whose Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book did contain a talking Salem, but he explained that he risked the slightly comedic move in the comic, since readers are simply taking in the words in front of them. He further stated, “Oh, of course Salem should talk. It’s going to be like anyone else talking,” but while planning the new series, the Riverdale showrunner decided to rustle up a real cat (not a puppet) and keep the feline’s lips zipped … at least for the first season:

Aguirre-Sacasa decided to dispense with the chatty cat altogether and stick with his original instinct. “When we did the show, [he doesn’t speak] partly to project the horror tone,” he said. “That isn’t to say that Salem won’t talk in the future.”

There’s also the unavoidable reality that an authentic cat can’t “talk” without CGI magic, which is prone to cartoonish results. Actress Kiernan Shipka, who’s put Sally Draper behind her to play the new titular Sabrina, recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight and agreed with the approach of a silent Salem as a more “subtle” tribute to the original series. She also admitted all three cats [who are named Shaq (!), Boomer, and Edward] who play Salem are “scene-stealers” that could eventually upstage her, but for now, they’re only causing hives. Yes, Shipka’s allergic to her co-stars. It happens, but at least she’s not hearing this…


Maybe a little of this, though…

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(Via Indiewire & ET Online)