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Archie may be coming to TV.
Fox is getting into business with Archie Comics, putting into development the modern-day one-hour drama Riverdale based on the popular Archie characters from prolific TV producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash).
Riverdale follows the main crew of Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, as they explore the surrealistic twists of small-town life, in addition to the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. Set in the fictional town of Riverdale, N.Y., the drama will focus on the love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper and rich socialite Veronica Lodge.
The entire cast of supporting characters, including Reggie Mantle, Archie’s rival; Jughead Jones, Archie’s best friend; Kevin Keller, a popular gay character; and Josie and the Pussycats, also will be featured.
Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions will produce the project, with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Glee, Looking) writing.
For Aguirre-Sacasa, who serves as chief creative officer at Archie Comics, this marks his first sale this development season. He spent three seasons as a writer on Glee for Fox and has experience re-adapting popular titles as he did with 2013’s Carrie remake and the Broadway-bound American Psycho.
Berlanti, a self-proclaimed fan of the Archie comics, has been busy this development season, executive producing The CW’s Arrow and The Flash as well as NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura. News of the Archie adaptation comes on the heels of Berlanti’s Supergirl project, which is at CBS with a series commitment. Berlanti also has supernatural procedural The Things They Left Behind at CBS, based on a Stephen King story, and FBI thriller Blindspot at NBC.
“This is a historic moment for Archie Comics, and we couldn’t be happier to partner with Fox, Warner Bros. and Greg Berlanti to bring our characters to television,” said Archie Comics publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “Greg and Roberto are experts when it comes to making great, compelling television and bringing beloved comic book creations to life on the screen. They’re the perfect team to welcome viewers to Riverdale.”
“This is something we’ve been working on for awhile now, figuring out the best way to bring these characters to life for what will be, essentially, the first time,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “The entire team working on Riverdale is as passionate about Archie as Jon and I are, so it feels like the stars have finally aligned for Archie and the rest of the gang.”
Comic book adaptations continue to be a big bet, with producers crediting built-in brand equity and technological advancements with visual effects to enable the telling of fantastical storylines on a TV budget.
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