Zoya Akhtar has been hired to direct The Archies, an Indian Archie Comics adaptation, for Netflix. The film is being described as a coming-of-age, live-action musical set in the 1960s, and this official announcement comes after months of rumours and speculation that have linked three major Bollywood newcomers to the lead roles.
Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda are all reportedly circling the project, while Akhtar will reunite with her longtime creative partner Reema Kagti, who will co-produce via their Tiger Baby banner, along with Sharad Devarajan for Graphic India. Akhtar said in a statement:
“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.”
Akhtar has worked with Netflix before, directing segments for the streamer’s anthology films Lust Stories and Ghost Stories. She is probably best known for the rap drama Gully Boy, which was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars in 2019. She’s also the co-creator and co-director of the Amazon series Made In Heaven.
This project makes complete sense as Netflix is also the international home of Riverdale, a modern-day reimagining of the popular characters from the Archie universe. That show has obviously proved popular enough around the world that Netflix sees another Archies-related project as a smart move.
Archie comics CEO/publisher Jon Goldwater even hinted at this just being the beginning of multiple Archies projects:
“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.”
Akhtar is currently working on season two of Made In Heaven, and was also recently announced as a co-producer on Jee Le Zaraa, Priyanka Chopra‘s Bollywood comeback film. The Archies doesn’t have a release date yet.