The CW has grown its DC Comics-inspired universe over the past few years to include four separate series - Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl - but the network has a handful of additional shows based on comic books. For instance, iZombie is adapted from the Vertigo comic series of the same name, and The CW's upcoming Riverdale is based on classic Archie Comics characters - though they've been updated for a modern reimagining that has been compared David Lynch's cult favorite series Twin Peaks.
Following Archie Andrews (K.J. Apa), Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), and fellow residents of their small town, Riverdale is set to kick off after the mysterious death of a local teenager. The CW's take on Archie Comics arrives two years after the publisher relaunched their print universe with a host of series following the various classic characters. Now, The CW president Mark Pedowitz teases a potential Archie live-action universe on the network.
During The CW's executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Pedowitz responded to the question of whether viewers will see an Archie expanded universe come to life following the premiere of Riverdale. He said, "Talk to me in about 5-6 weeks."
Riverdale is set to debut on The CW at the end of January, roughly two and a half weeks from now. Already, the show is generating positive buzz among fans who were able to catch the pilot at Comic-Con International in San Diego last summer, as well as critics who have received advanced screeners for the series' opening episodes. Many have described Riverdale as a mix between Twin Peaks and well-liked high school dramas such as Gossip Girl - Pedowitz himself compared it to Twin Peaks and The O.C.
Considering the growing library of Archie Comics titles as part of the publisher's relaunch - which include a solo series for relatively minor character Kevin Keller as well as one for Josie and the Pussycats - there's certainly a wealth of material from which The CW could draw inspiration for a Riverdale offshoot. Depending on the success of the live-action series and which characters land with audiences, The CW could potentially build a shared universe surrounding Riverdale.
That said, the network's schedule is already dominated by DC Comics series, and they may be hesitant to add another Archie series. Plus, it may be difficult to launch a spinoff set in the same town as Riverdale since continuity across two series would need to be maintained. But, again, it likely depends on how successful Riverdale proves to be with general audiences, and whether The CW can develop a viable spinoff story. So, for now, it remains unclear if fans will get to see a live-action Archie expanded universe.
Riverdale premieres Thursday January 26th with 'Chapter One: The River's Edge' at 9pm on The CW.
Source: Mark Pedowitz