The CW is continuing to bet big on the world of Archie Comics. Late last week, it was announced that the network is developing Jake Chang, a new live-action series inspired by the forthcoming Archie character. If it came to fruition, the series would reportedly be unconnected from Riverdale, which will be airing its seventh and final season during the upcoming 2022-2023 season. The series hails from writer Oanh Ly and writer-director Viet Nguyen, who both previously worked on the Archie-inspired Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, who would (respectively) write and direct the hypothetical pilot.
Jake Chang is described as an Asian-American-led mystery following a 16-year-old private investigator as he navigates the racially and socioeconomically diverse worlds of his ever-gentrifying home of Chinatown, and the elite private high school he attends. The show will blend soapy teen drama with the neon noir aesthetic, all while flipping nearly every Asian stereotype-honor, martial arts, destiny, lineage, parental sacrifice-on its head. The character has some sort of tie to previous Archie character Fu Chang, a private detective in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1940s. Jake is expected to make his comics debut in the forthcoming Archie story "Mystery of the Missing Mermaid," which will be published in Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #305 on July 27th.
"We are so proud and honored to be a part of this new wave of Asian-American content created by and starring Asian-Americans," Ly and Nguyen said in a statement. "The world of Jake Chang is vast, compelling, and a whole lot of fun. And just like our rascally teen detective, we're going to lean into the 'F U' of the original 'Fu Chang' IP and delightfully destroy all familiar tropes and tell a unique Asian-American story."
"We are so excited to be working with Daniel and the team at 3AD to bring a treasured classic to life for modern audiences," Archie's Jon Goldwater echoed. "Oanh and Viet have crafted a unique vision that will be unlike anything you've seen from the Archie universe before. We've had such a great relationship with the whole CW team, and we look forward to having more great success together with Jake Chang."
The Jake Chang series will be executive produced by Ly and Nguyen, alongside Goldwater and actor Daniel Dae Kim and John Cheng through their production company 3AD, which currently produces The Good Doctor.
"3AD is so excited to join the Archie universe, especially with writers like Oanh and Viet at the helm," Kim said. "Jon, Matt, WBTV and the team at CW have been great shepherds of these beloved characters and we hope to continue their tradition of success."
This update surrounding Jake Chang is particularly interesting, especially given how Archie Comics' presence on television has evolved in recent years. Even before Riverdale's final season was announced, the two other live-action Archie-inspired series, Netflix's Sabrina and The CW's Katy Keene, were cancelled within a span of days in 2020. At the time, it was reported that Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa was developing another Archie-inspired project, although it was never publicly announced what that project was.
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