Have you ever wondered what The Walking Dead would be like if Rick, Lori and the rest of the gang were replaced with characters from Archie Comics? No? Well, Glee writer and producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has, and he's even written a comic book series with that particular premise, titled Afterlife With Archie.
The comic is a sort of Halloween special version of the main series, intended to supplement it rather than replace it. It sounds like an interesting spin on the traditionally family-friendly and wholesome nature of the Archie comics, which are set in the idyllic American town of Riverdale. Aguirre-Sacasa previously penned the four-issue crossover comic spin-off Archie Meets Glee, but we won't find out whether Afterlife With Archie is a successful implementation of genre-bending until the first issue is published later this year.
According to Deadline, however, Aguirre-Sacasa's zombie comic series isn't the only contribution that he'll be making to the Archie universe in the near future. Warner Bros. has closed a deal to produce a live-action movie based on Archie Comics, and have tapped Aguirre-Sacasa to write the script for it, since he already has an in-depth knowledge of Riverdale and its inhabitants.
The movie is being produced by Roy Lee (How to Train Your Dragon), Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes) and Jon Goldwater (son of John L. Goldwater, one of the original co-founders of Archie Comics). Directing duties have been handed to Jason Moore, who received both critical and commercial success with his feature directorial debut, Pitch Perfect. Goldwater had this to say with regards to the film deal:
“We’re thrilled with the team that Warner Bros, Dan and Roy have put together here. Roberto has become a prolific comics writer for us, and having Jason Moore is the icing on the cake as 'Pitch Perfect' is one of my favorite movies.
"Archie has remained extremely competitive enough to be a trend setter in contemporary comic books. We were the first to introduce a gay character into the storyline, and that was an incredible success. We’ve had different comics where Archie was married to Betty in one and Veronica in another. And the 'Archie Meets Glee' was also a big success. But the core, the characters and Riverdale, remains part of the fabric of classic Americana.”
Just to be absolutely clear (this has been misreported on a few other sites), there hasn't been any suggestion that the Archie movie will actually be based on Afterlife With Archie, as opposed to the regular comic book series. That confusion seems to be stemming from the fact Aguirre-Sacasa is working on the Archie movie script and Afterlife With Archie simultaneously, and also from the fact that most of the Deadline article is spent talking about zombies. That's not to say that the movie definitely won't feature any zombies (after all, nothing makes wholesome family movies about classic American values more palatable to a mainstream audience than the addition of the undead), but there's been no indication so far that they're going to take the script in that direction.
Would you like to see Archie Comics on the big screen? If so, would you prefer classic Archie Andrews or Archie Andrews: Zombie Hunter.
The Archie movie doesn't have a release date yet, but we'll keep you updated on the project.