With studios still looking to create a female-driven superhero property but not yet willing to again try stretching more vinyl over Wonder Woman, Sony has decided to approach the task from an entirely new angle. Instead of starting with a superhero, they're just going to treat the Archic Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch as an edgy Spider-Man type and see how that goes.
According to Deadline, the studio has set to work developing the comic-turned-cartoon-turned-Clarissa follow-up into an exciting origin story "in the vein of Spider-Man, about a young girl coming to terms with her remarkable powers." Because WITH GREAT [WITCH] POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. I believe those were Caroline Rhea's last words to the talking cat, before the WB pulled the plug on Sabrina the Teenage Witch in 2003.
Oh, and speaking of the talking cat (Salem), that guy is still going to be around. Though the film is of course bent on being "edgier," Real Steel producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford seem to think a talking cat can still fit in to this edgy world--just so long as the talking cat and Sabrina now the edginess of questionably-legal, morally-grey sexual tension. While Salem was previously explained to be a warlock sentenced to feline life as a punishment, now it's a Frog Prince-esque scenario, with "a transformed prince creating unique love stories for Sabrina." Maybe one love story that is "unique" in that it's between a teenager and a talking cat! And then maybe another cat/teen love story that is somehow unique in a different way than bestiality. They'll think of something.
Already-hired screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari should probably start thinking about it now, though. The project is said to be a high priority for the studio, and there's probably no greater evidence of that than in the excited but perfectly normal human response Murphy and Montford received from Sony co-chair Amy Pascal:
"We mentioned it in a meeting to Amy Pascal who chimed in 'I'm the little witch girl,' From then on we knew it was the right home."
So while I can see how Sabrina fans might be put off by this new, EDGY take on the material, this should be some relief: the project is in capable hands, of a little witch girl. She's the little witch girl.