The inaugural cinematic adaptation of the Archie comics is emerging from India in the form of “The Archies,” directed by Zoya Akhtar and co-written by Akhtar, Reema Kagti, and Ayesha Devitre. Scheduled to premiere on Netflix on December 7, the film marks a departure for Akhtar, who previously directed films featuring established stars like “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” “Dil Dhadakne Do,” and “Gully Boy.” In a recent interview, Akhtar shared her experience working with a young cast and explained her decision to infuse the film with a musical element.
When asked about handling a young cast after working with established stars, Akhtar noted the ease that comes with newcomers who approach their first job with open hearts and minds, unburdened by expectations. She emphasized the advantage of having fresh faces embody iconic characters without preconceived notions. Akhtar acknowledged the need to establish a bond, trust, and respect with the actors, regardless of their experience level. The cast underwent a six-month boot camp, fostering a close-knit dynamic as they grew together, forming a tight-knit group that goes everywhere together.
Explaining the choice of a musical format, Akhtar described “The Archies” as a storybook brought to life, adapting it from India for a global audience. Recognizing India’s proficiency in music, Akhtar highlighted the need to seamlessly weave songs into the narrative, using music to propel the story, enhance moments, and explore emotions. From the script stage, the team was clear about integrating music in a way that adds a touch of magic, enhancing the film’s fantasy and creating a magical vibe.