Archie and the Movies

If you haven’t heard yet, rumors are flying all across cyberspace in regards to a live action Archie movie. My phone and email inbox were blown up by my friends sharing this exciting news. To all of you, I thank you. That means a lot to me to know that when you see or hear anything about Archie, your first thought is to tell me.

The movie will likely be done by Warner Brothers studio, with Jason Moore taking the helm. Moore is no stranger to teen film. He directed “Pitch Perfect” and his writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa works on the show “Glee”, which Archie is currently doing a cross over with. Aquirre-Sacasa has said the movie will be “a quintessential teen movie..” complete with drama, heartache, humor, and maybe a musical number or two. Oh and the most important part? It’s going to have zombies in it. Why not.

Archie has always dabbled in the world of live action. In the 1950s, Archie attempted to break onto the small screen with a TV pilot. The pilot has been in circulation via YouTube and many a con bootleg, so it’s not hard to find. To be honest it’s not half bad. We open with Mr. and Mrs. Andrews trying to get Archie up for school. He has devised a mechanism that makes it sound like he’s getting ready for school, when in fact he’s still asleep. The plan backfires, but you can’t blame him for trying. Then when he gets to school we’re introduced to the classic Riverdale gang; Beautiful, rich Veronica. Cute, girl next door Betty. Best friend and eating machine Jughead. Wise guy and rival Reggie. And of course Mr. Weatherbee who constantly has inner monologues about Archie and what to do with him. The acting isn’t half bad and it is very enjoyable.

The second foray was an ABC special in 1978. If you have any Archie comics from that year, you’ve undoubtedly seen the ads for it. I have yet to see any footage of it but I know it has to exist somewhere.

Third was the failed TV pilot turned made for TV movie, “Return To Riverdale” in 1990. The movie shows us what the gang is like 10 years after high school. Archie is a big city lawyer married to a woman who is neither Betty or Veronica. Betty is a school teacher, Veronica is still rich, Jughead is a psychiatrist, and Reggie owns a gym. However this isn’t a terrible basic movie in terms of how these characters have grown. Betty winds up with a creep who bosses her around, Veronica has been married and divorced four times, and Jughead has also been divorced and has a child. Our innocent teenagers carry some pretty heavy baggage…but that’s another post for another day.

Everyone is reunited for the big high school reunion. Archie is nervous as he hasn’t seen anyone in forever, and when he encounters Betty and Veronica sparks do fly. The climax of the film is when the gang has to save Pop’s from being torn down by Veronica’s still rich and kind of rude father. There’s a happy ending for everyone, and they all live happily ever after. 

There’s also the successful live action Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and let’s not forget about the Josie and the Pussycats movie which was very enjoyable.

Maybe it was just poor timing, or maybe America just didn’t want Archie as a live action series. But there’s no actual good reason why it shouldn’t be done! The characters are likable and diverse. The situations are realistic. After 70 years it’s high time we got something. Even if the acting and dialogue isn’t the best it will still be an enjoyable film. I can’t wait to see it.





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