The culture of the world in which the CW’s reboot of “Charmed” is being written, as well as the cultural backgrounds of its three Latinx lead characters, will heavily influence the new supernatural drama.
“We have a real Latinx witch in our writers’ room,” executive producer Amy Rardin said at the Paley Fall TV Preview in Beverly Hills, Calif. Saturday. “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.”
The reboot will showcase brujería, Latinx witchcraft, as the sisters (played by Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffrey and Madeleine Mantock) explore the magical abilities they discover they have in the series premiere. For audiences familiar with the late-1990s version of the show, there will be a unique power among this new group of sisters. Jeffrey’s character, Maggie Vera, will be able to read minds. In the original series, the youngest sister (played by Alyssa Milano) received the power of premonition instead.
This new power has a dual purpose as a storytelling device.
“[Maggie] is 18. So, [she’s] at a time when you’re worried about what everyone thinks about you,” explained Rardin.
And O’Toole added, “We didn’t want to make it too easy for them to solve things with magic, so I think we pulled back a little, which doesn’t mean that the power won’t evolve. Based on the original, the powers do evolve so that’s something we’ve had in the back of our minds as something we could get to.”
But the show is also taking time to “organically show the women handling current issues, without lecturing the audience,” said O’Toole. “Even before the election, we always wanted to explore that link between strong women and witchcraft.”
Mantock said that touching on these topics is necessary “because in this day and age you have to be upfront about which side you’re on.” Although she admitted that when you’re talking about something entertaining, “you want to just be fun,” she said she is glad the they are “leading” with issues “because it shows people what kind of people we are.”
In addition to Rardin and O’Toole, Jennie Snyder Urman, “Jane the Virgin” creator and showrunner, also serves as executive producer.
“Charmed” premieres Oct. 14 on the CW.