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The cast and showrunners of The CW’s Charmed reboot aren’t here to make waves with fans of the original series.
Coming together Thursday for a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, executive producers Jennie Snyder Urman and Jessica O’Toole were joined by new castmembers Sarah Jeffery, Madeleine Mantock and Melonie Diaz in Ballroom 20 and focused the conversation around how they planned to honor 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.”
But they know bringing back a classic series can make fans of the original wary of ruining the legacy. That’s why stars of the reboot are quick to promise that they aren’t here to mess with history.
“Charmed is so iconic,” Jeffery says. “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!”
Adds Mantock, “We come in peace. The original was so wonderful and they were trailblazers and we could not be here without them. There is something in here for everyone, little treats for [original fans].”
And while the revival isn’t a continuation of the original, Urman promises that they’re “referencing all that came before.”
“We’re so grateful because we love the original and we’re huge fans,” she adds. “That’s why we wanted to do this. It’s rooted in the original, deeply rooted in the original.”
The CW’s Charmed reboot, set to air on Sundays in the fall, has already found itself in hot water. Original Charmed star Holly Marie Combs recently expressed disappointment in the new, younger-skewing reboot and has made it clear that she is not a fan of the network’s new take on her beloved show.
“Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like [showrunner] Brad Kern did weekly don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work,” Combs wrote. “Charmed belongs to the four of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.”
And as for The CW’s decision to add a “feminist” twist for the reboot, Combs deadpanned, “Guess we forgot to do that the first go around. Hmph.”
Along with Combs, the original Charmed starred Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano. But based on Combs’ very public takedown of the reboot, viewers shouldn’t expect to see any of the original three pop up in cameos on The CW’s new series.
The panel opened with the world premiere of the pilot. The biggest response came during moments when one of the female stars fought back against toxic masculinity and sexual harassment, of which there were many. But the biggest laugh and cheer came after the sisters learned from their new mysterious mentor why their magical “power of three” was activated: because the weakest of men achieved the highest of power. The nod to President Donald Trump couldn’t have been any clearer, which was warmly received by the packed ballroom. The pilot also features a storyline that focuses on an older male college professor who is under investigation for sexual harassment and the protests against his reinstatement, with references to the #MeToo movement setting the tone for the new Charmed to take on prescient issues including gender equality, female empowerment, LGBTQ representation and more.
Charmed is set to bow Sunday, Oct. 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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