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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to continue Netflix saga in comic form, 'Archie' multiverse on the way
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will continue, in more ways than one. A year after Netflix announced the cancellation of the acclaimed horror series based on the Archie Comics title of the same name, creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed that the streaming series' story will live on in comic book form.
Speaking to Deadline on Wednesday, Aguirre-Sacasa announced The Occult World of Sabrina, a new comics series he's scripting with art by Audrey Mok that will pick up immediately after the cliffhanger ending of the Netflix series, following Sabrina Spellman's family as they work to get her back to the land of the living.
"When we start that series, it’s exactly as it ended in the Netflix series with Sabrina and Nick in the sweet hereafter and her family and friends in Greendale are trying to live in a world without Sabrina," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "In fact, that’s the name of the first story arc: 'World Without Sabrina.' We’ll see how her loved ones have been doing since Sabrina sacrificed herself. The first thing Zelda does is recruit a team of their family and friends to go into the underworld to bring Sabrina back to life."
Based on Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack's Chilling and Adventures of Sabrina comic that launched in 2014, the Netflix series launched in 2018 to acclaim and eventually released 36 episodes across two seasons before it was cancelled last year. Speaking to Deadline, Aguirre-Sacasa explained that, despite the cliffhanger, he had originally pitched the next chapter of the series to Netflix, which would have brought Riverdale characters like Archie, Betty, and Veronica to the show as witches, but thanks to a number of factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, it "didn't feel possible."
Now Aguirre-Sacasa is making a version of it happen, just on the comics page instead of the TV screen.
But that's not the only new Sabrina comics news. Aguirre-Sacasa also announced that this fall will bring the launch of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #9, the long-awaited continuation of the original comics series that inspired the Netflix adaptation. Finally, after four years of waiting, readers will get to find out what happens next in the "Witch War" storyline Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack started with issue #7.
“Bringing Sabrina and her family and friends to life on the screen for Netflix was a dark dream come true, and I couldn’t be prouder of our four seasons, but it all started with a comic book series that was truly a labor of love for everyone who worked on it,” Aguirre-Sacasa said in a press release from Archie Comics. “Reuniting with Robert Hack and the entire Archie Comics team and getting to pick up where we left off has been the best homecoming I could have ever asked for.”
What all this amounts to, ultimately, is a tale of two Sabrinas, as Aguirre-Sacasa wanted to be able to serve fans of both the Netflix series timeline and the original comics readers who've been waiting so long for a continuation. That doesn't mean the two timelines will never converge, though.
"We’re saying we’re launching with these two comic book titles almost as if there’s this Sabrina multiverse where there are multiple versions of these characters," Aguirre-Sacasa told Deadline. "I will say we have talked about them crossing over and of course, we always have the option to bring in the kids from Riverdale. For the first arc, we’re going to finish the war in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and finish the 'World Without Sabrina' storyline in The Occult World of Sabrina and there isn’t going to be any crossover. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we do a big crossover in the near future."
The dual comics series release also doesn't mean we'll never see the return of live-action Sabrina. At the moment, the character is under what sounds like Netflix's standard two-year hold on rights (something Marvel characters have also been subject to in the past), but Aguirre-Sacasa made it clear that there's always room to come back, particularly with the new source material he's adding in the comics world.
"My plans are to work on the comics and build up that library with the hopes that one day we can do a standalone movie or hopefully bring back the series," Aguirre-Sacasa said. "I feel like right now this is like the research and development stage of the next iteration of Sabrina. I was really bummed that the fans weren’t able to see Sabrina reunited with her family and friends which was the heart of the show. But I’m hopeful that with different circumstances in the future, we’ll be able to do a live-action Sabrina to continue."
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #9 arrives this October. The Occult World of Sabrina does not yet have a firm release, but according to Archie it's also expected "later this year."