When word broke last week that Warner Bros. had a live-action Archie movie in development, fans like myself were instantly whipped into a frenzy. Seriously. Even if you still naively think of Archie as the red-headed stepchild of the comics industry, it's hard to remain unimpressed by what Archie Comics has achieved over the past couple of years: Kevin Keller, the batshit insane Life with Archie comics, the upcoming Afterlife with Archie zombie horror-comedy title, etc. With longtime fan (and current writer for the company) Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa scripting, and Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore handling directing duties, this upcoming project marks the first time since 2001's underrated Josie and the Pussycats that the Archieverse will make it to the big screen. But the question remains: which actors could and/or should play Archie and the rest of his Riverdale pals and gals? As an Archie superfan - again, seriously-- I'll be sharing my casting choices with you in today's Daily List. (Feel free to add your picks in the comments). Grab a burger at the Choklit' Shoppe and get to reading!
10) Mr. Weatherbee - Kevin Chamberlin
Known for his roles on Broadway (Uncle Fester in The Addams Family), TV (Heroes, The Disney Channel's Jessie) and movies (Die Hard with a Vengeance) character actor Kevin Chamberlin has the comedic chops necessary to portray Archie's principal/nemesis. It also doesn't hurt that he is almost a real-life doppelganger for the Bee either.
9) Dilton Doiley - Clark Duke
You don't have to be an alchemist to realize that Kick-Ass and The Office co-star Clark Duke could bring the perfect combination of awkwardness and geekiness to the role of Dilton Doiley, Riverdale High's resident genius.
8) Miss Grundy - Jane Lynch
Over the course of Archie Comics' 72-year history, Riverdale High teacher Miss Grundy has been portrayed as everything from a strict authoritarian to a goofy pal to Archie and the gang. Back in the real world, Jane Lynch has excelled at playing similarly quirky characters throughout her career. In fact, if you were to throw a gray wig on her and give her some old issues of Faculty Funnies, Lynch would produce another memorable characterization a la Christy Cummings and Sue Sylvester in no time. Given Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's involvement with Glee (both as a writer for the series and the subsequent Archie tie-in comic), Lynch as Miss Grundy could be a very real possibility. Let's hope so.
7) Kevin Keller - Liam Hemsworth
A role model for the "It Gets Better" generation, the openly gay Kevin Keller character made his debut in 2010. In less than three years his ongoing title has become a symbol of how progressive Archie has become, selling out issues (a first in the company's history) and recently winning a GLAAD award for Outstanding Comic Book. Although Keller's sexuality may be a big deal in the comics industry, in Riverdale he's just another teen looking to go on dates and have fun with his friends. Because of his current high profile, it seems unthinkable that Keller won't be a part of the film. On page, the character is presented as a masculine, dynamic, somewhat awkward everyday guy who just so happens to be gay. His big screen counterpart should be a mixture of strength and vulnerability, traits that would suit Thor's bro just fine if the movie decides to cast with up-and-coming actors.
6) Mr. Lodge - Michael McKean
Other than Betty, the biggest obstacle to Archie's romantic bliss with Veronica is her long-suffering (and sometimes tyrannical) father, Hiram Lodge. To effectively portray Lodge in the Archie film, the producers will need to cast someone who can play a character who is lovable but also a bit of a dick. Enter the great Michael McKean. I'm not talking This Is Spinal Tap or Laverne & Shirley McKean here, but rather his sublimely smarmy takes on Gibby from Dream On or Larry Dittmeyer from The Brady Bunch Movie. McKean can also play compassion flawlessly, which should come in handy during the flick's inevitable third act scene in which Lodge realizes that maybe Archie isn't so bad after all. With the screenplay still in development, it's too soon to say whether the film will be going for broad humor, subtle laughs or a mixture of both. However it turns out, McKean has the talent to rise to the occasion.