In the late 1930's, a series of comics titled "Archie" hit the shelves and became a hit in its heyday. Set in the small quaint town of Riverdale, The series followed a crew of "Riverdale High School" students led by Archie Andrews. Archie had the lusting love of two of his female companions, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. And so began one of the most epic ancient love triangles of all TIME!!! [Now please pretend that the word "Time" is echoing in the back of your head for my sake] The comic series was so popular it even spun off into numberless of other comic series including: Josie and the Pussycats and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The character's comic series has even received a reboot set during a zombie apocalypse titled "Afterlife with Archie". Even gaining an animated series, the franchise's fame has died down recently in this 21st Century.
Until now! Last year (2014) was the 75th aniversary of Archie and friends. This year, on the 76th year of Archie, Fox has ordered a pilot tentatively titled "Riverdale". Greg Berlanti, producer of "Arrow" and "The Flash", will help bring yet another set of comic characters to the small screen. What a surprise! The synopsis is as follows:
"The series will showcase the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper and rich socialite Veronica Lodge and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books — including Archie’s rival Reggie Mantle and slacker best friend Jughead Jones. Popular gay character Kevin Keller also will play a pivotal role, with other characters from Archie Comics’ expansive library also slated to appear including Josie and the Pussycats."
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and is writing the pilot, says:
"Archie's still gonna have red hair, Betty is still gonna have blond hair and Veronica's gonna have dark hair. We are definitely not casting them retro-style to look like the comic book characters. They will definitely be contemporary kids. The pilot is set on the first day of school, after Archie was working for his dad's construction company. He's gonna be all buff and muscular, ant ond that's why all the girls fall for Archie. We're tweaking the mythology a bit to answer questions people have had for 75 years. Jughead is still gonna wear that paper crown, it's so iconic. We are explaining for the first time in 75 years why he's wearing the crown. All these Easter eggs will have an explanation finally. They'll look like their iconic selves but with an edgier quality. Jughead will be more like Donnie Darko. A lot of the subtext is bubbling to the surface. One of the big stories we're telling in the pilot is that Veronica Lodge and her mother, Hermione Lodge, are moving to Riverdale because they're fleeing a financial scandal that her dad is involved in. It's a very real world. There will absolutely be humor in this. The voice will have a sardonic, ironic edge to it. The characters will be witty and funny, and every story will be a quintessential "Archie" story with a twist to it. The humour will always be part of the bread and butter. Kevin Keller is a big character in the comic books. In the comics, he's completely accepted as being gay, and there's no question about that. In the show, we'll look at what that really means for kids in a small town coming out -- who accepts them and who doesn't accept them. Reggie has always been a frat boy douchebag, and we've never gotten to the core of why that is, and we're going to explore that, it has to do with Reggie's relationship with his parents. We're getting to the realness and the complexity of the characters. We're not going to arbitrarily make it dark, but we'll get real with these characters and make it a little bit weird, like "Twin Peaks" or "Blue Velvet," which is one of my favorite movies. Archie Comics have thousands of characters in their library. One of the example is how "Arrow" introduced the Flash and spun "The Flash" off. We thought it would be great to have Josie and the Pussycats as a rival band, and they can spin off their own show.
Not only are we getting Archie and friends on the small screen, but possibly Josie and the Pussycats backdoor piloting their way into their own series in an "Arrow-The Flash" type way. And as a fan of the whole Archie comics franchise, I can only hope Sabrina the Teenage Witch comes to town and back-doors her way into a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" esque series [Fingers crossed]. With Fox's Glee coming to a close and "GOTHAM" smashing the ratings, Could Fox be killing two birds with one stone? A Comic book teen drama. Which is Ironic because there is an "Archie Meets Glee" crossover comic, also written by Sacasa. I kinda like the sound of that. You just couldn't stay away from teen dramedies huh, Fox? The pilot, which was ordered in October 2014, is expected to hit in late 2015.
Bonus: In 2013, there was an "Archie" film planned by Warner Bros. with Jason Moore [Pitch Perfect] directing and Sacasa [Carrie] writing. It is unknown if plans for that film are still on the table. When asked about the possibility of an "Afterlife with Archie" movie or TV Show or visiting the darker parts of the Archie-verse, Sacasa said this:
“As for film and TV - the answer is YES! Absolutely! This is something that will be happening at some point in the near future - nothing to announce just yet, but rest assured it will happen."
" we're really, really excited -- and that if, god willing, this works out the way we all want it to work out, every Halloween we'll be doing an "Afterlife" episode of "Riverdale."
What do you think of this darker hashing of the famous redhead?