Miramax plans live-action ''Betty & Veronica'' movie. Archie Comics wants to be the next Marvel, licensing lots of its characters to the big screen

By Gary Susman
July 22, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

They’ve been rivals for more than 60 years, even though they’re still in high school. Now, Betty and Veronica are getting their own live-action movie. Miramax announced Wednesday that it’s adapting the Archie Comics characters for a big-screen feature, with Archie, Jughead, and others from Riverdale High along for the ride.

The deal comes just a few months after Archie Comics began a drive to create franchises for its stable of characters — not just the Archie clique, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Josie and the Pussycats, but also Katy Keene and superheroes the Mighty Crusaders. Of course, the 2001 live-action ”Josie” movie barely registered at the box office, suggesting that not all Archie characters are ripe for adaptation, but Archie Comics Entertainment president Allan Grafman remains confident that Betty and Veronica can make it in the 3-D world. He said in a statement that Miramax scored the deal because of the studio’s ”impressive understanding of the property’s full potential across film, television, live stage, and all other media.” In other words, get ready for the ”Betty vs. Veronica” video game and ”Jughead! The Musical.”