EXCLUSIVE: Of Riverdale Coming after the upcoming seventh season, the CW takes a look at a new soapy, noir-thriller teen drama set in the world of Archie Comics. Jake Chang, in development at the network comes from writer Oanh Ly and writer-director Viet Nguyen, who both worked on the Archie Comics-based Chilling Adventures of Sabrina; Daniel Dae Kim’s 3AD; Archie Studios; and Warner Bros. Television.
Jake Chang is an Asian-American mystery that follows a 16-year-old private detective as he navigates the racially and socioeconomically diverse worlds of his increasingly gentrifying home Chinatown, and the elite private high school he attends. The show will blend soapy teen drama with the neon noir aesthetic, while turning almost every Asian stereotype – honor, martial arts, destiny, ancestry, parental sacrifice – on its head.
Jake Chang is a brand new character in the Archie Comics universe. Its existence first came to light in February when Archie Comics filed the paperwork to trademark it. In April, it was announced that Jake Chang will make his comic book debut on July 27 in the “Mystery of the Missing Mermaid” Betty and Veronica story. Above is a sketch of the character.
The TV adaptation is being developed as a standalone series; there are currently no plans to introduce the character on riverdale’s last season.
“We are so proud and honored to be a part of this new wave of Asian-American content created by and starring Asian-Americans,” said Ly and Nguyen. “Jake Chang’s world is huge, immersive and a lot of fun. And like our moronic teenage detective, we’re going to lean into the ‘FU’ of the original ‘Fu Chang’ IP and ravishly destroy all known tropes and tell a uniquely Asian-American story.”
Fu Chang from Archie Comics is an American-educated international private detective who lived in the Chinatown neighborhood of San Francisco in the 1940s. It is unclear how Jake and Fu are related, but there is clearly a lineage here.
Ly will co-write the script with Nguyen, who is directing. The two are producing alongside Jon Goldwater, through Archie Studios and the general deal with WBTV, as well as Kim and John Cheng through 3AD. Matt Lottman, Archie’s head of development, is also expected to produce on WBTV’s series.
“We are so excited to be working with Daniel and the team at 3AD to bring a cherished classic to life for a modern audience,” said Goldwater. “Oanh and Viet have created a unique vision that will be unlike anything you’ve seen before in the Archie universe. We’ve had such a great relationship with the entire CW team and we look forward to working with Jake Chang.†
Archie Comics collaborated with Ly and Nguyen on Chilling adventures of Sabrina, which was on Netflix for four seasons. The company also produces river valley, entering its seventh and final season.
“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 are wonderful herders of these beloved characters and we hope to continue their tradition of success.”
Kim launched 3AD to produce premium content for TV, film and digital media with a dedication to storytelling featuring traditionally underrepresented characters and cultures. 3AD, which produces the popular ABC series the good doctor, is led by Daniel and Head of Development Cheng. It is under a first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios. Kim is represented by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gang Tire Ramer.
Ly, whose credits are also: sweet tooth, is represented by Industry Entertainment and CAA. Nguyen, who also contributed to Crush the skull, let the right one in and Nightclub, is represented by Rain Management Group and UTA. Archie Comics is represented by WME and Richard Thompson at Brecheen Feldman Breimer.