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Live-action Winx Club moves forward at Netflix

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winx club nickelodeon promo art Image: Nickelodeon
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Fate: The Winx Club Saga, the live-action version of Italian magical girl series Winx Club, is moving forward at Netflix. The show, announced in March 2018 to be an ensemble YA series, has found its lead in Abigail Cowan (Dorcas in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and has already started principal photography in Ireland.

Cowan plays Bloom, the totally normal girl next door who finds herself in a magical fairy realm. Throughout the animated series, Bloom struggles to learn her true identity and eventually manifests dragon flame powers. That’s just season one, though. The show has been on since 2004, so things have definitely changed and progressed since then.

The five core cast — the aforementioned Bloom; Flora, who has flower powers; Tecna, who has technology powers; Stella, who has solar powers; and Musa, who has music powers — were joined by Layla (Aisha in the original Italian), who had the power to shift water molecules, and Roxy, the animal fairy. The fairy girls at Alfea Academy were often pitted against the witches of Cloud Tower, though they allied with the hunky boys of the Red Fountain School for Specialists.

The show has been an Italian cultural phenomenon, with one Italian journalist describing it as “an Italian cultural enterprise—the largest since the days of Salgar.” Italy even used the show to represent the region of Marche in the Expo 2010 world’s fair.

Winx Club occupied the same cultural space as other girl-fronted Western animated shows that debuted in the early 2000s such as W.I.T.C.H. and Totally Spies, but unlike the others, Winx has been on for 15 years. The show is popular at conventions and has been the subject of a couple of academic papers.

Previously, Netflix exclusively released two seasons of World of Winx, a spin-off series. There is no release date or further casting news for Fate: The Winx Club Saga.

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