There will be a lot more dramatic singing and dancing than usual in an upcoming film being made in partnership with Archie Comics and film production company Graphic India.
Announced today via Variety, the project will re-imagine Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and other characters of Riverdale as Indian teenagers. Although there’s a thriving comics industry in India, this is the first international comic to be translated for Indian screens, according to the company’s release. Sharad Devarajan, co-founder and CEO of Graphic India had this to say:
“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.”
A constant presence at supermarket checkout lines, Archie is so quintessentially American that it’s easy to forget the global reach the publisher has. This movie follows along the line of bold re-invention for Archie that started years ago and has continued through the Riverdale TV series and upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch show coming to Netflix. When the surprise of the news fades, it becomes readily apparent that Archie in Bollywood could capitalise on both the strengths of the Archie property and Bollywood movie conventions.
For one, Archie and his crew have been musical performers for decades as the Archies band so that’s a natural fit. And the ‘parents just don’t understand’ friction and love triangle structure would like transition well to a subcontinental audience used to high melodrama. There’s no release date yet but Archie in Bollywood is going to be a fascinating experiment whenever it comes out.