Netflix’s ‘The Archies’ reimagines the titular comic book series in an Indian setting, giving it a fresh musical twist. At the center of the story are Archie Andrews and his group of friends, all of whom are on the verge of adulthood and ready to change their lives, though not quite as much. Archie’s arc takes him on a complicated journey where he explores his feelings for Veronica and Betty while also preparing himself to leave Riverdale and go to London. However, the town is an important part of his life, and he realizes that in the end. Considering how important Riverdale is to the story, the audience is bound to wonder if it’s a real town.
Riverdale and Green Park are Fictional Places
According to the mythology of ‘The Archies,’ Riverdale is located somewhere in North India and was founded by Sir John Riverdale, who made it a haven for the Anglo-Indian community. In reality, there is no town by the name of Riverdale in India. It is a fictional place based on the location of the original Archies comics. To create Riverdale, the filmmakers turned towards Ooty as the primary location, with a few scenes shot in Mumbai. The scenes for Green Park were most probably shot in Ooty, considering how abundant the place is in greenery.
While it is vaguely pointed out that the town is located in North India, it is not revealed where specifically it is located. It is assumed that the king from whom Sir John leased the land for Riverdale belonged to the state of Punjab, and extrapolating from that, it can be assumed that the hilly Riverdale lies somewhere in the Himachal Pradesh state of India, which was still a part of Punjab in the 1960s. There is also a reference to Ruskin Bond, an Anglo-Indian writer, who also hails from Himachal Pradesh and has spent most of his life in the hills, which further specifies the location of the town.
Much like in the movie, the exact location of Riverdale remains a mystery in the comics and the TV show, ‘Riverdale’ as well. Initially, it was believed to have been the same as the real-life Riverdale in the Bronx area of New York. However, over the years, the creators of the comics have expressed different opinions about the origins of the town. For John L. Goldwater, it is a representation of his hometown, Hiawatha, in Kansas, while artist Bob Montana says that it is designed according to his hometown, Haverhill, in Massachusetts.
Over the years, fans have tried to find signs related to the true location of the place, be it in the comics or the TV show. No matter what conclusion they reached, one of the editors of a volume in Archie and Jughead Digest once reportedly said that Riverdale is less about being a place and more about “a state of mind” and is meant to represent a place where young people like Archie and his friends can blossom and flourish and live a life of fun and adventure.
It was this intent that the makers of ‘The Archies’ brought to the film. Infused with the ’60s vibe, the film aims to be a wholesome entertainment with song and dance and people in touch with their roots and fighting for what’s right. The setting of the 60s allowed the filmmakers to tap into the rock and roll era, to pay tribute to the pop culture elements of that time while also trying them into the story and making them a part of the protagonists as well as inculcate in the vibe of Riverdale.
Read More: Was Netflix’s The Archies Filmed in India?