Archie Comics and Indian comic books publication Graphic India have announced plans to develop a live action movie in Bollywood, Variety magazine reported. This will be the first time an international comic will be developed for the Indian screen, the two companies said, according to the report.
The plan is still in early stages and the official date has not been announced yet. The characters of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Moose and Jughead will be played by an Indian cast and will have all the elements of the comic book series. The current TV adaptation Riverdale, which is broadcast on CW, is a loose representation of the comic book universe.
“We are supremely excited to partner with the great team at Graphic India to bring Archie and his friends to Bollywood,” said Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater, according to Variety. “Archie’s lasting and growing presence in India made this move the logical next step as our stellar library of characters continues to expand into other media. It’s a major moment for Archie and its fans around the world.”
Sharad Devarajan, co-founder and CEO of Graphic India, said, “Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead have been a source of inspiration for numerous Bollywood films over the years, and now it’s time to take them fully into Bollywood in an exciting new twist of a story that we have planned. These characters have held a special place in the hearts of Indians for decades and we have no doubt that the new Indian cast of Archie and the gang will be an exciting moment for the country.”
The Riverdale series, which stars KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the series’ narrator, returned to the screen on March 7 after a short break, and has been well accepted by viewers.
Archie Comics have sold over 2 billion copies worldwide and are published in over 17 languages in over 55 countries.
Graphic India, the Indian partner of Archie Comics in this deal, has also published Astra Force, its animated series starring Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, and Baahubali: The Lost Legends. They believe that India should have a comic book universe like Marvel Comics.
They raised $5 million from Start Media and Backflip Studios’ co-founder Julian Farrior with 3One4 Capital and Zodius Capital founder Neeraj Bhargava in 2015.