Fox Is Developing A ‘Subversive Take’ On The World Of The Archie Comics

Greg Berlanti — he of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl fame — has another comic book adaptation in the works. Unlike those other three, however, this one won’t focus on heroes with superpowers saving days. I mean, probably. I suppose he could make drastic changes to a beloved 60-year-old series and give Veronica, like, laser eyes or the power of invisibility, but that would be weird and would probably lead to endless outrage from the franchise’s diehard fans, many of whom will be relied on to tune in to keep the show afloat. Let’s chalk it up as a maybe.

I’m sorry. It appears I have gotten off-track. The point is that Archie and the rest of the gang from Riverdale are coming to Fox in a new drama series. From the press release:

Riverdale offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. Set in the present in the small fictional town of Riverdale, New York. The show will focus on 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 his slacker best friend, Jughead Jones. Popular gay character Kevin Keller will also play a pivotal role. In addition to the core cast, Riverdale will introduce other characters from Archie Comics’ expansive library, including Josie and the Pussycats.

Words that should jump out at you from that paragraph: “bold,” “subversive,” “surrealistic twists,” and “wholesome facade.” We were just one “gritty reimagining” away from hitting Reboot Buzzword Bingo. So close. So very close. Now we’ll never get that margarita maker from the prize table. We’ll have to keep making them in the blender, like savages.

But anyway, reading that description, it kinda sounds like they’re planning to Gossip Girl/O.C./Dawson’s Creek-up the comics a bit, which isn’t too outlandish a proposition seeing as Berlanti’s first big TV gig was co-executive producing Dawson and Pacey and company back in the late-90s. Personally, I hope they give Archie a cool leather jacket and have him go around Riverdale punching out members of the water polo team while Betty secretly records video to post on her mysterious blog. Let’s file that under maybe, too.