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Archie comics spins into first live-action film

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comic book teenagers Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead are coming to the big screen for the first time in a new live-action feature film based on the long-running "Archie" comic series, its publisher said on Thursday.

The comedy will be produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and will feature the lead "Archie" characters in a high school in present-day Riverdale, the fictional backdrop of the series, Archie Comics said in a statement on its website.

"Archie" began in 1941 and became a comic book empire for Archie Comics, which has produced numerous series featuring the main characters.

The comics have been adapted for television in animated and live-action series in the past, as well as a television movie featuring an adult Archie, but this is the first time in the comic book's 72-year history that a feature film will be made.

Red-haired Archie Andrews is well-known in American pop culture, along with his long-running love triangle with the brunette Veronica Lodge and blonde-haired Betty Cooper and antics with best friend Jughead Jones, the publisher said.

"We are thrilled to be working with Warner Bros. on this project and have complete faith in their ability to bring Archie to the big screen in a way the fans will love," Jon Goldwater, publisher and co-CEO of Archie Comics, said in the statement.

The new film will be directed by Jason Moore, the filmmaker behind 2012's musical comedy "Pitch Perfect," the publisher said. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will write the screenplay.

No additional details were provided.

Superheros from Marvel and DC Comics have been dominating the global box office as new films featuring Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and superhero collective The Avengers have grossed billions of dollars worldwide.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc, is releasing Superman reboot "Man of Steel" in theaters on June 14 as a darker spin on Clark Kent and his heroic counterpart.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Doina Chiacu)

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