EXCLUSIVE: With Riverdale ending after its upcoming seventh season, the CW is eyeing another dark, soapy teen drama set in the world of Archie Comics. Jake Chang, which is in development on the network, comes from writer Oanh Ly and writer-director Viet Nguyen, who both worked on the Archie Comics-based film Chilling Adventures of Sabrina; 3AD by Daniel Dae Kim; Archie Studios; and Warner Bros. Television.
Jake Chang is an Asian American-led mystery that follows a 16-year-old private detective as he navigates the racially and socioeconomically diverse worlds of his ever-gentrified Chinatown home and elite private high school. that he frequents. The show will mix soapy teen drama with black neon aesthetics, while flipping nearly every Asian stereotype – honor, martial arts, fate, lineage, parental sacrifice – on its head.
Jake Chang is a brand new character in the Archie Comics universe. Her existence was first revealed in February when Archie Comics filed paperwork to put her down. In April, it was announced that Jake Chang would make his comic book debut on July 27 in the Betty and Veronica story “The Mystery of the Missing Mermaid.” Above is a sketch of the character.
The TV adaptation is in development as a standalone series; there are no current plans to introduce the character on Riverdale’the last season.
“We are so proud and honored to be part of this new wave of Asian American content created by and featuring Asian Americans,” Ly and Nguyen said. “The world of Jake Chang is vast, engrossing and a lot of fun. And just like our naughty teenage sleuth, we’re going to lean into the ‘FU’ of the original IP ‘Fu Chang’ and deliciously destroy all the familiar tropes and tell a unique Asian-American history.
Archie Comics’ Fu Chang is an American-trained international private detective living in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1940s. It’s unclear how Jake and Fu are related, but there’s clearly a lineage here.
Ly will co-write the screenplay with Nguyen who will be the director. The two are executive producers alongside Jon Goldwater, via Archie Studios and its overall deal with WBTV, as well as Kim and John Cheng via 3AD. Archie’s head of development, Matt Lottman, is also set to play a producing role on the WBTV series.
“We are thrilled to work with Daniel and the team at 3AD to bring a treasured classic to life for modern audiences,” Goldwater said. “Oanh and Viet have crafted 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 can’t wait to have more success with Jake Chang.“
Archie Comics worked with Ly and Nguyen on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which ran on Netflix for four seasons. The company also produces riverdale, which is 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 CW team have been great shepherds of these beloved characters and we look forward to continuing their tradition of success.”
Kim launched 3AD to produce top-notch content for TV, film and digital media with a commitment to storytelling featuring traditionally underrepresented characters and cultures. 3AD, which produces the hit ABC series the good doctor, is led by Daniel and development manager Cheng. It is the subject of a first television agreement with Amazon Studios. Kim is replaced by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Gang Tire Ramer.
Ly, whose credits also include Greedy, is replaced by Industry Entertainment and CAA. Nguyen, who also worked on Crush the skull, let in the good and Nightclub, is replaced by Rain Management Group and UTA. Archie Comics is replaced by WME and Richard Thompson at Brecheen Feldman Breimer.