Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa seems to have found his niche and it’s on the dark side. First, he took the wholesome Archie Comics gang and threw them into the sinister, crime-riddled world of ‘Riverdale’. Then, for Netflix, he reinvented another comedic Archie staple, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, in the Satan-revering ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’. Both times, Aguirre-Sacasa struck gold. Now he’s taking two classic horror concepts and reinventing them in the same YA style.
HBO Max has ordered a pilot and one additional script for ‘The Shelley Society’, which you may have guessed is inspired by Mary Shelley, the author of ‘Frankenstein’. This will be a period piece that features Mary (maiden name: Godwin) as a young woman, leading a team of “romantic rebels” including her lover Lord Byron and her future husband Percy Shelley “against a host of supernatural baddies.,” including her own famous creation! The show is being described as a “Victorian X-Files.”
Aguirre-Sacasa created ‘The Shelley Society’ with ‘Riverdale’ writers Tessa Leigh Williams and James DeWille, who will remain attached as writers and executive producers. Aguirre-Sacasa will act as showrunner, the position he already has on ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Sabrina’.
On top of that, Aguirre-Sacasa is shopping ‘The Brides’ around to premium cable and streaming services. That would seemingly indicate that this will be a more adult project. ‘The Brides’ focuses on the Brides of Dracula from the Bram Stoker classic. These succubuses are rarely shown to be anything but mindless thralls of the king of vampires, but Aguirre-Sacasa will reinterpret their story as “a sexy family saga with diverse leads, and will focus on what these immortal women do to maintain the power and legacy of their, very non-traditional, undead family.”
Aguirre-Sacasa came up with this concept and originally developed it for NBC for the 2015-16 season. Presumably, due to the fact that he is shopping it only to premium cable and streaming services, he has something darker, possibly more graphic, and sexier in mind than he did at that time. (Or maybe that’s why NBC passed.)
‘The Brides’ will be co-produced with Greg Berlanti Productions, like ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Sabrina, as well as the upcoming ‘Katy Keene’. Sarah Schechter will executive produce.
Before conquering TV, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the comic books ‘Afterlife with Archie’ and ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ (the basis for the show). He still holds the title of Chief Creative Officer for Archie Comics. He also wrote the screenplays for the remakes of ‘Carrie’ and ‘The Town That Dreaded Sundown’. For the stage, he wrote the musical based on ‘American Psycho’, and was among those brought in to try and salvage the true horror that was ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark’.
Both ‘The Shelley Society’ and ‘The Brides’ are in the earliest stages of development, so check back for any updates.
Season 1 of ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ (which was split into two parts) is now available on Netflix. Season 2 hasn’t been scheduled yet. The fourth season of ‘Riverdale’ is now airing on The CW. The spin-off ‘Katy Keene’ will premiere on The CW in May of 2020.