"Charmed" Gets a Latina Upgrade
(From left) Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock and Sarah Jeffery as the new "Charmed Ones". Photo courtesy of the CW
In January of this year, it was announced that the beloved 90's/early 00's drama, Charmed, is being rebooted, but with a new set of witches discovering and testing their powers in 2018.
While fans and actors from the original series have spoken out in opposition to the project, citing disrespect to the original creators and actors for not being included in discussions for the reboot, the producers are confident in the show's success.
The producers specifically decided to do a reboot and not a revival and not because the original 'Charmed Ones' were "too old," as Holly Marie Combs, the actress who originally played Piper, accused. The felt that the original show ended "beautifully," and they didn't want to mess with the story told by the original team. “That show wrapped up everything up so wonderfully,” said executive producer Jessica O’Toole. “You feel like they told a complete story.”
And, most importantly, because it's 2018 and the world is finally starting to realize the importance of multi-ethnic representation in the media, our witches aren't white.
Sarah Jeffery, who plays Maggie Vera, was born and raised in Vancouver and traces her family back to Mexico and Italy. Melonie Diaz, playing Mel Vera, grew up in NYC's Lower East Side to Puerto Rican parents and Madeleine Mantock, playing Macy Vaughn, is of Afro-Caribbean descent.
The production team is full of ethnic diversity as well. Jennie Snyder Urman, creator and showrunner of CW's Jane the Virgin, is one of the executive producers and Gina Rodriguez, the star of Jane the Virgin, is set to direct an episode in the first season. She made her directorial debut in season four of Jane the Virgin so this will be her first time directing an episode on a show she isn't starring in.
The show is being written by Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin, both of whom previously worked on Jane the Virgin as well. The original Charmed, of course, was created by Constance M. Burge, produced by Aaron Spelling with Brad Kern as the showrunner.
“We’ve had a chance to see three white witches,” Snyder Urman said to Makeda Easter of the LA Times. “Coming off of [‘Jane the Virgin’], I know so much more about what it means to see yourself on screen, see yourself being represented and see yourself being the hero of a story, and that’s really important to us.” Added Montock, “It’s very rooted in what 2018 is. I’m truly grateful to work with people who want to talk about the issues that I talk about in my kitchen.”
But at its core, Snyder Urman ensured that the heart of the original “Charmed” will remain.
“This is...about a love story between three sisters,” she said.
Charmed premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.