Exclusive comments: “ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO” is coming!Books/Art/Culture,Features/Interviews,Movies/TV,News Michael Gingold
The gang from Riverdale has been getting into some pretty horrific situations in recent years, and now they’re about to cross over with the SHARKNADO movie franchise. Anthony C. Ferrante, who has helmed all three movies and is writing the comic, gave FANGORIA some exclusive words about the project.
The 48-page ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO is being illustrated by ARCHIE regular Dan Parent, and is set to debut in stores and digitally July 22—the same day SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO! premieres on Syfy. Ferrante (pictured right—who, like Archie Comics chief creative officer and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is a former Fango scribe) reveals that the concept began innocently enough: “Last summer, one of our producers met one of the artists from ARCHIE, who sketched a little SHARKNADO drawing for him,” he tells us. “I said, ‘We have to make this happen! We have to really do this!’ and Archie Comics thought it was a great idea for a crossover. I’d always wanted to write a comic, and I wanted to be involved in this and make something cool, because I love the SHARKNADO universe we’ve all created, and the chance to put it into this world I grew up reading seemed like a neat kind of marriage.”
Ferrante doesn’t want to give away plot particulars just yet, though he does note, “Archie gets to channel his inner Finn [Ian Ziering’s chainsaw-wielding hero from the films], and we get to have Betty and Veronica be bad-ass.” He adds that as of now, he isn’t planning to incorporate the screen characters into this scenario: “There’s an event that happens in the third movie that also kind of occurs in and around Riverdale, so it’s sort of a side story to what takes place in that. I’m looking at ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO as its own unique thing. SHARKNADO is always about adapting each story to its individual setting; like with Washington, DC in SHARKNADO 3, where we get to do a kind of Bruce Willis action movie with sharks. So this was like, how do I utilize Riverdale and create setpieces there?”
The advantage, of course, was that Ferrante didn’t have to worry about the costs of filmmaking impeding his imagination. “We did storyboards on the three movies where we’d come up with all these great scenes, and then we’d get to set and it was like, ‘Yeah, you have one hour and you only have this much equipment.’ With the comic, it’s like doing storyboards and I don’t have to worry about coming to set and only having that one hour and one truck. We can actually do these epic things, because there are no budget limitations. Dan Parent’s doing an amazing job with the art, and it’s up to him to envision this stuff and make it look amazing. I had a great storyboard artist, Timothy Hopkins, on the third movie, and early on we started coming up with all this cool weaponry, and we ended up building only three or four of those props. There were a couple that didn’t get made, and since they’ve already been conceptually designed, we might revisit them in the comic.”
Such details notwithstanding, Ferrante says the mission statement of ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO is keeping it consistent with the Riverdale bunch’s previous outings. “The stuff I’m coming up with is feeding off the energy of what’s in the ARCHIE universe. There’s a playfulness to that, and this one has to have a tone that straddles the line between what we’re doing with SHARKNADO and staying true to what ARCHIE is, which is essentially the Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle and all that stuff.” And should those kids and their friends survive their first encounter with the toothy twister, ARCHIE VS. SHARKNADO could live on beyond a one-shot. “If it does well, I’m sure they’ll want to do more,” Ferrante says. “Look, no one thought there would be three SHARKNADO movies; no one predicted the first one would blow up like it did. So if the fans want more, it would be cool to do them. It’s fun; it’s flexing different muscles.”