The CW’s reboot of Charmed will reportedly focus on delving into Latinx witchcraft and women’s issues. Lead by Jane The Virgin creator, Jennie Snyder Urman, the project has been controversial since it was announced, especially following criticism from original series lead Holly Marie Combs. The upcoming reboot will introduce the Vera sisters: Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery).
The 1998 original series showed the Halliwell sisters, played by Combs, Shannen Doherty, Alyssa Milano (and later Rose McGowan), settling into their early-to-late-20s. However, the youngest of the new trio, Maggie, enters as an 18-year-old college freshman, and footage of the premiere indicates that her school will play a role in where supernatural battles occur. Unlike the original, in which spells where predominantly chanted in English, the most recent trailer showed the Power of Three casting an incantation in another language.
This weekend at the Paley Fall TV Preview in Beverly Hills, the cast and creators revealed that the new Charmed will explore brujería, or the art of magic and witchcraft according to Latinx traditions. Executive producer Amy Rardin made a decision to work with a brujería practitioner to develop the story and show witchcraft through a different lens (via Variety).
“We have a real Latinx witch in our writers’ room. Every culture has their own witchcraft traditions, and we really wanted to explore not just from a Salem witchcraft but all kinds of different witchcraft that happens all around the world.
Series writer Jessica O’Toole hopes to deliver an entertaining show that audiences can enjoy while taking a stand for women’s issues. She also made a statement about looking to examine women in witchcraft prior to the election, which may reference a group of witches who made headlines in 2017 for allegedly casting a curse on Donald Trump. Although the Vera trio will inherit at least some of the Wiccan powers seen in the original series, O’Toole also hinted that fans can expect a more conservative interpretation of using magic. The Halliwell sisters struggled to master their magical powers at first, but were effortlessly blowing things up, teleporting, and manufacturing spells to do just about anything by the end of the eight-year run.
Many fans undoubtedly want to see the best of the original Charmed, which certainly tackled issues in feminism. However, The CW’s current television lineup is arguably more politically charged than the original was, with shows like Jane The Virgin, Riverdale, and Supergirl tackling sexism, racism, and homophobia more aggressively. Although the original stars – Combs and Milano, in particular – have said that they wish they’d been approached about inclusion in the revival, they appear to have wished it well and bowed out.