Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Charmed’ Reboot
Charmed is one of television’s most iconic series led by female stars, and it is the love for the series that prompted The CW to give it a reboot. Charmed is returning in the fall of 2018, but it isn’t the same Power of Three that fans remember, and while some are adamantly against a reboot, others are open to it. The new Charmed aims to bring the same female empowerment and entertainment to audiences now as the original Charmed did during its eight season run from 1998-2006 starring Shannen Doherty (seasons 1-3), Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and Rose McGowan (seasons 4-8), but with a modern twist. Ahead of the new Charmed, here is everything you need to know about the series:
12. The Premise
In early 2018, after what seemed like years of rumors about the show coming back, The CW finally announced it had ordered a pilot for a Charmed reboot. The logline from the network for the series read: “This fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series centers on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches. Between vanquishing supernatural demons, tearing down the patriarchy, and maintaining familial bonds, a witch’s work is never done.” As time went on, more about the series was revealed with a description reading: “Set in the fictional college town of Hilltowne, the series begins with sisters Mel and Maggie Vera living with their mother Marisol, who shortly after is attacked and killed by an unknown demonic force. Three months later, Mel and Maggie discover that they have an older half-sister, Macy Vaughn, who was kept a secret by their mother for years, but recently moved to Hilltowne to accept a new job at the local university. After the first time the sisters are under the same roof, they unexpectedly start exhibiting new magical abilities.”
11. The New Charmed Ones
When it came to casting the new Charmed Ones, the network wanted diversity in the casting and created a multicultural family with Macy Vaughn and Maggie and Mel Vera. “We’ve had the chance to see three white witches,” showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman said. “And coming off Jane [The Virgin], I knew so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself as the hero of the story.” Madeleine Mantock — best known for her roles in The Tomorrow People, Into the Badlands and Edge of Tomorrow — will be playing the eldest half-sister Macy Vaughn. Macy is described as, “a witty, intense science nerd — who is in her late 20s — has a Ph.D. in quantum physics and moves to Hilltowne, Michigan, to work in the university lab. Macy has reason to believe that she is the sister of Mel and Madison.” Melonie Diaz who has had many roles over the years, including in the series Rizzoli & Isles as well as films like Lords of Dogtown and Fruitvale Station, plays middle sister Mel Vera. Mel is described as “a strong-willed feminist, she feels deeply and is a bit controlling. She is in her mid 20s and a lesbian and is the sister of Madison. In the wake of a tragic accident, the grieving Mel becomes angry, defiantly unkempt, even violent, pushing away those who might help her, including her girlfriend.” Lastly Sarah Jeffery, will play the youngest sister, who is the least excited about learning of her powers because she is a first-year college student who is desperately trying to fit in and be part of a sorority.
10. Their Powers
When it comes to the new Power of Three, things are very close to the original. Macy Vaughn has the power of telekinesis which is like the original eldest Halliwell sister, Prue, in the original Charmed. Mel Vera has the power of freezing time, like Piper Halliwell, and Maggie Vera has the power of telepathy which is different than that of Phoebe Halliwell who had the power of premonition. This time around when the sisters have to use the Power of Three to fight evil, don’t expect any catchy rhyming spells. “[The couplets] were so tied into the original, and something about the rhyming felt like it belonged to that show,” Urman said. “Especially because we’re wanting to get into different languages and different cultures.” Urman also explained that with two of the sisters being of Hispanic descent and the older sister being of Afro-Caribbean descent, their multi-culturism will also play into how they perform and interact with magic. “They’re multiracial, the family is, and the girls do have different fathers. We want to explore each of their unique heritages, and the interesting ways that different cultures intersect with witchcraft,” Urman revealed.
Along with a racially diverse cast, and the youngest sister having the power of telepathy rather than premonition, there are several other distinct changes from the original to the reboot. While the original series was based in San Francisco, the new series is set in the fictional college town of Hilltowne and while the sisters’ mother had died years ago in the original, in the reboot Maggie and Mel have grown up with their mother Marisol, but while she is in the middle of unbinding their powers, she is attacked and killed by a supernatural force. The reboot has also already undergone some changes. Initially, the names of the sisters were reported as being Macy, Mel, and Madison Pruitt, and Mel’s girlfriend was Soo Jin. Madison’s name was later changed to Maggie, the sisters’ family name was changed to Vera, and Soo Jin’s name was changed to Nico.
8. Other Stars
With the Charmed Ones being the center of the show, it looks like the supporting cast is just as strong. Rupert Evans, who is best known for his role in 2004’s Hellboy, will portray Harry Greenwood, the sisters’ Whitelighter. In the beginning, Harry is hiding his real identity by posing as a professor at Hilltowne University, but reveals himself after the sisters discover their powers. Se’Darius Blain, who portrayed Fridge in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, has been cast as Galvin Burdette, a molecular scientist who works at the Hilltowne University lab with Macy and becomes her first friend after she moves there. Ellen Tamaki is a lesser known actress but has been cast as Nico Hamada, a detective with the Hilltowne police who has an on-off relationship with Mel. Meanwhile, Charlie Gillespie has been cast as a character named Brian who is Maggie’s on-again, off-again boyfriend who has a history with Maggie because the two went to high school together.
7. Deeper Than Magic
Although the new Charmed removed itself from a real location to the fictional setting of Hilltowne, the subject matter will hit a little closer to home than it did in the original. Urman has confirmed that the 2018 series will take on current hot topics like immigration, sexuality and sexual assault. “You don’t want to be giving medicine; there’s a huge wish fulfillment about witchcraft, but hopefully the political undertones are just part of that fabric,” she explained. Of course, being set in a college town, the sexual assault and harassment problems on real college campuses will be addressed on the show. “We’re in a moment right now where we are actually starting to listen to women. So I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to support that movement, to support these strong voices,” Ser’Darius Blain said of joining the show in part because of its willingness to tackle tough subjects, specifically the #MeToo movement.
6. Minds Behind
While the show is based on the original which was created by Constance M. Burge, none of the original showrunners are back for the reboot. The new Charmed series has been developed by Jessica O’Toole, Amy Rardin, and Jennie Snyder Urman. The pilot episode was written by Jane the Virgin writers Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin, and was based on a story by Urman who was the showrunner for Jane the Virgin. Brad Siberling will be directing and executive producing alongside O’Toole, Urman, Rardin as well as Ben Silverman, Howard Owens, and Carter Covington.
5. A Real Witch
With the reboot of Charmed aiming to take a deeper look at different types of magic, executive producer Amy Rardin revealed they hired an actual Latinx witch for the writing staff. Executive producer Jessica O’Toole explained, “[The writer] and his friends started a coven, I guess you’d call it. They would meet once a week and do spells and put energy out there towards goals that they wanted to accomplish… It’s directing energy and putting out what you want to come back.” “We have all kinds of belief systems in our room,” O’Toole continued. “We have people who really think if you manifest something, it happens. We have more traditional religious people in the room. We have skeptics. It’s very much like what we have on the show.”
4. Original Cast Vs. New
It is no secret that news of a wholly reimagined reboot didn’t go over well with passionate Charmed fans, but it didn’t help that some of the original cast also took part in the backlash. Holly Marie Combs, who played Piper Halliwell for all eight seasons of the original series, took to her Twitter to air her frustrations with the reboot saying she “wished them well” but also suggesting it should be a completely different show and not capitalize off the popularity off the original. “Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the 4 of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye,” she wrote. She also took issue with the fact that the new show’s logline emphasized that the reboot is feminist, which suggested that the original wasn’t. Shannen Doherty also took issue with the fact that it seemed to suggest the original wasn’t feminist, but was more positive in hopes the new Charmed reaches and inspires a new audience like the original did. The new cast has opened up about the backlash saying they hope everyone will at least give the reboot a chance before deciding to dislike it. “We want the fans to like it, but at the same time I feel like expectation is not exactly the healthiest,” Diaz said. “We just want to make a good show.” Sarah Jeffrey also said, “We definitely respect the foundation that has been made but there are of course new themes. We’re in a totally different time.”
3. The Trailer
After announcing the reboot in early 2018, The CW went full steam ahead into development and no one expected the series to be ready for the Fall 2018 TV season, but on May 17, 2018 the first trailer was released. The Vera house is noticeably similar to the Halliwell Manor, and gives a glimpse of the sisters’ lives before their mother died, and them discovering their powers afterward. The trailer not only introduced the new Charmed Ones and their Whitelighter but also revealed that The Book of Shadows still plays a major part in the sisters’ “protecting innocents and vanquishing demons.”
2. Premiere Date
Following the release of the official trailer, everyone wanted to know when the series would finally hit the air, and The CW made an interesting decision. The Charmed reboot will premiere on Sunday, October 14, 2018 capitalizing off the theme of witches and the supernatural with the fall/Halloween season. Sunday night is an interesting choice for a timeslot, however the network slotted the premiere at 9 p.m. which is primetime, and also after the hit series Supergirl, making Sunday nights the ultimate girl power nights on the network.
1. Honoring The Original
While the original logline didn’t give enough credit to the original series, the reboot’s creators and stars have made it clear that the new show has nothing but honor and respect for the original. “The original was so much about female empowerment and sisterhood and strong women taking over the world and I feel like that’s what we need right now,” Urman says of why she wanted to revive the fan favorite. “It felt like a good time to get back to that and show women kicking ass.” “Charmed is so iconic,” Jeffery said. “They laid the groundwork and we want to be respectful of that and the mythology of everything. We want to honor it while bringing a modern twist. Come join us!”