Comic book characters Archie Andrews and his friends are set for an Indian film version on Netflix. Acclaimed filmmaker Zoya Akhtar will direct a coming-of-age, live action musical set in 1960s India based on the teenagers of Riverdale.
The feature film adaptation of the Archie comics, which are hugely popular on the Indian subcontinent, will be produced by Akhtar and Reema Kagti for Tiger Baby and Sharad Devarajan for Graphic India.
As revealed by Variety, plans for an Indian adaptation of Archie comics have been in motion since 2018.
Akhtar’s 2019 music-themed film “Gully Boy” played at the Berlin Film Festival and was India’s entry for the Oscars. She has directed segments of Netflix anthology films “Ghost Stories” (2020) and “Lust Stories” (2018). The first season of Amazon series “Made in Heaven,” created by Kagti and Akhtar, was nominated at the International Emmys.
Devarajan is known for Indian superhero project “Chakra: The Invincible,” in collaboration with Stan Lee. A live-action adaptation of Lee’s “Monkey Master,” produced by John Woo, is in the works.
Akhtar said, “I am super excited to have the chance to bring ‘The Archies’ to life. It was a large part of my childhood and teenage years. The characters are iconic and globally loved, which is also why I am a little nervous. I have to make sure the film stokes the nostalgia of a generation that grew up on the comic and yet resonates with the young adults today.”
Archie Comics CEO/publisher Jon Goldwater said: “It’s a huge source of pride that the Archie Comics characters and stories resonate with fans globally, and especially in India, for more than 50 years. We are thrilled to partner with Netflix and trust Zoya Akhtar and her creative team to deliver a truly unique and exciting take on Archie and friends through the lens of Indian cinema. We know that these characters have global appeal and translating them into other settings and cultures is just the start of what we have planned for future multimedia adaptations.”
Pratiksha Rao, director, films and licensing, Netflix India, said, “The characters, adventures and friendships in Archies have found fans across the world for generations. With Archie Comics, Graphic India and Tiger Baby, we have an extraordinary opportunity to recreate the world of Archie comics, this time as a live action musical. Zoya has an incredible and unique ability to make stories and the characters in them relatable, making them feel like they are an extension of our own self. We are thrilled to partner with her in bringing to life the world of Archies to fans and our members in India and around the world.”
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