Eep! Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica are on their way to Broadway, with Adam McKay and Funny or Die teaming up with Archie Comics to bring long-running comic-book property “Archie” to the stage in a new musical.
McKay, the writer-director behind film comedies including “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights,” will write the book for the show, with a songwriter (or songwriting team) still be announced. McKay isn’t slated to direct at the moment; he previously directed on Broadway with the 2009 outing “You’re Welcome America,” which starred Will Ferrell as George W. Bush.
Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater and chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — who’s got some experience bringing comicbook adaptations to Broadway after coming aboard “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” in the latter phases of that show’s long development — will oversee the project for Archie Comics. Funny or Die, the multiplatform comedy producer co-founded by McKay, will serve as presenting partner.
With the project still in its earliest phases of development, little is known about the direction the show will take in bringing Riverdale and its denizens to the stage. In a statement McKay described the brewing musical as “bright, colorful and slightly demented.”
On the comics side, “Archie” titles have undergone something of a creative transformation spearheaded by Aguirre-Sacasa, who has penned a horror-infused, mature-audience take on Riverdale called “Afterlife With Archie.” A new core “Archie” book recently launched with a less cartoony, more realistic depiction of the characters that have been around since 1941.
Last year, producer Greg Berlanti pacted for a “Riverdale” series, initially for Fox before it shifted to the CW, with a pilot script written by Aguirre-Sacasa.
The Broadway partnership that brought together Funny or Die and Archie Comics was packaged by Triptyk Studios, the team of producers who have been involved in “Xanadu,” “An American in Paris” and “You’re Welcome America,” and are also at work on the new Stevie Wonder musical “Freedom Run” with NBCUniversal Stage Productions. Tara Smith, B. Swibel and Adam Westbrook will oversee “Archie” for Triptyk and serve as Broadway presenters.
Further members of the “Archie” musical’s creative team remain to be set, as do casting details and a production timeline.