The cast of The CW’s upcoming “Charmed” reboot has faced backlash since the day the project was announced, from fans who don’t want anyone messing with their beloved IP — and Holly Marie Combs, who played sister Piper Halliwell on the original WB series.
And, yes, the stars acknowledged during the Television Critics Association press tour Monday that they are aware Combs isn’t a fan of the idea and has been quite vocal on social media about her apprehension over the reboot.
“I hoped that maybe she would see it and like it,” new series star Madeleine Mantock said. “But on the other hand… it was part of her life, is still a big part of her life. I think she’s entitled to feel however she wants.”
At the same time, Mantock — who plays sister Macy on the new take — says she thinks “there’s a lot of positive stuff coming out too.”
“And I think we’ve collectively made a decision to focus on that because it’s such a great place to be and it’s a great show with people I love,” she said. “And so I just want to focus on.”
“Obviously there’s an element of it that you’re tapping into an incredibly passionate fan base, and that’s important,” executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman (“Jane the Virgin”) said, when asked why they decided to go for a reboot instead of using a different title for the new series altogether.
“Beyond that, we are using a lot their central mythologies: white lighters: the Book of Shadows, the Power of Three, the feeling that, at its core, it’s a love story between the three sisters. And they’re gonna have romantic ups and downs, but the core of the show, I think, remains the same. And that’s why it was useful to both use the IP and also look at all the elements that worked so well for them and repurpose them for now, in this moment.”
While Urman said they “have not tried yet” to get Combs — or her fellow original series alums, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Shannen Doherty — involved as guest stars that “would be great. ” “There’s always multiverses and you never know,” she said.
“I feel really lucky to be telling this story at this time,” Urman said. “We understand that it’s such a sacred thing to so many people, the cast and the fans. So we’re very gracious and grateful.”
When the reboot pilot was first announced in January, Combs tweeted her unenthusiastic response to the project.
“Here’s the thing,” Combs wrote. “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 the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.”
The new series, which was originally developed last cycle and passed on by the network, is described as a “fierce, funny, feminist reboot of the original series” and will center on three sisters in a college town who discover they are witches.
“Charmed” stars Mantock, Melanie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery, along with Ser’Darius Blain and Rupert Evans.
“Charmed” premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9/8c on The CW.