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When a live-action Archie movie was announced in June 2013, Deadline theorized the plot could involve zombies, due to the involvement of Afterlife with Archie writer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa. That notion was quickly dismissed, with Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater telling Comic Book Resources the company was planning a “John Hughes-ian” film, more in line with traditional depictions of Archie and the gang.
Nine months later, it looks like there might have been something to that initial guess: In an interview with CBR discussing Aguirre-Sacasa’s new position as Archie Comics chief creative officer, both he and Goldwater state that the company is still figuring out the concept for the film — and Afterlife with Archie is a strong option.
“Afterlife is a big game-changer for Archie,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “It has made us think, ‘Wow, should the Archie movie be an Afterlife movie?’ ‘Should Afterlife be a TV series?” We took a little bit of a beat to figure out, because whatever our first big thing is going to be, obviously that’s going to define the company in a major way. So we want to get it right.”
Afterlife with Archie, a strikingly serious Archie series that plunges Riverdale into the depths of a zombie apocalypse, sees the release of Issue 4 this week, but a much older — yet similarly unconventional — Archie story serves as a source of inspiration for how Aguirre-Sacasa wants to approach the film.
“I remember when I was a kid and I read Archie Meets the Punisher,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “I was like, ‘That’s a crazy idea. But it’s so brilliant it might work.’ That’s kind of what we want whatever that first thing is to be. We want people to be like, ‘That is so insane, but it may work it’s so insane.'”
In June, Aguirre-Sacasa was announced as the writer of an Archie movie at Warner Bros., with Pitch Perfect‘s Jason Moore on board to direct. Aguirre-Sacasa was quoted in Archie’s press release as saying the film “will be the ultimate teenage movie — in the grand tradition of Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
The ongoing series Afterlife with Archie, written by Aguirre-Sacasa and illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, debuted in October at No. 42 on the monthly Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart, with an estimated 41,533 copies, 167 places higher than the next Archie title on the chart, Sonic the Hedgehog #253.