Riverdale’s teen noir take on Archie Comics was already wonderfully weird enough, but it was almost much, much weirder.
Speaking at this weekend’s Winter TCA press tour, Archie Comics chief creative officer and Riverdale scribe Robert Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that when he first started pitching a live-action Archie project, the Twin Peaks-ian murder mystery of what would eventually become the CW show, was not on his mind. At first, Aguirre-Sacasa teamed up with Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore to do a more traditional coming-of-age teenage drama.
The pitch made its way to Warner Bros., but when they first met up with the studio, a VP at the meeting had a very different set of alternate suggestions for Archie:
We go to the kickoff meeting and he said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about this and I think you guys need to something a little more high concept, a little bigger than a coming-of-age [story]. I said, ‘Yeah, great. We’re open to that.’ He goes, ‘I want you to think about time travel.’ I say, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You know, Archie traveling through time.’
[He goes], ‘Portals are huge. This is a portal to another dimension.’ We’re just sitting there gobsmacked.
In either Archie Andrews: Time Traveller or Archie But With Portals I Guess, Portals Are Hot Right Now, the executive suggested that comedian and actor Louis C.K. could play an older Archie.
Let all that sink in for a moment.
As hilariously bizarre as all that sounds, it wasn’t really on the table beyond the wildest imaginations of this Warner Bros. VP—Aguirre-Sacasa wasn’t exactly keen on the suggestions, and after weeks trying to make it fit, the deal fell apart and we eventually got the Riverdale we’ll be seeing on TV in a few weeks. But spare a thought for the alternative universe where a movie starring somber, middle-aged Archie is traveling through time is playing in theaters across the nation. It makes our Riverdale sound downright normal.