Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (born 1973)[1] is an American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer best known for his work for Marvel Comics and for the television series Glee, Big Love, Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. He is Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics.[2][3]

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Aguirre-Sacasa in 2017
Born1973 (age 4546)
OccupationComic book writer, playwright, screenwriter
Home townWashington, D.C., U.S.

Early life

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa grew up in Washington, D.C.,[4] the son of a Nicaraguan diplomat, then Foreign Minister Francisco Xavier Aguirre Sacasa. [4] He attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, followed by Georgetown University where he studied playwriting under Donn B. Murphy. Later he received a Masters Degree in English literature from McGill University, and graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2003.[5]

Although he wrote some plays in high school, it was after college, while working as a publicist at the Shakespeare Theatre, that he had an opportunity to attend a week-long playwriting workshop under Paula Vogel during her 1998-99 residency at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Vogel had invited area theaters to send their "resident playwrights" and company director Michael Kahn sent Aguirre-Sacasa. She told him to "get serious" about writing plays and so he started applying to graduate programs in playwriting.[6]

Early plays during his first year at Yale include Say You Love Satan, "a romantic comedy spoof of the Omen movies", and The Muckle Man, "a serious family drama with supernatural overtones"; good reviews on summer productions of those helped him get a professional agent.[6] Rough Magic, an interpretation of Shakespeare's The Tempest where Caliban escapes from Prospero's island and finds himself in present-day New York City, was produced at Yale during his last year there.[6]



On April 4, 2003, Dad's Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta was scheduled to debut Aguirre-Sacasa's new play, Archie's Weird Fantasy, which depicted Riverdale's most famous resident coming out of the closet and moving to New York. The day before the play was scheduled to open, Archie Comics issued a cease and desist order, threatening litigation if the play proceeded as written. Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels said, "The play was to depict Archie and his pals from Riverdale growing up, coming out and facing censorship. Archie Comics thought if Archie was portrayed as being gay, that would dilute and tarnish his image."[7] It opened a few days later as "Weird Comic Book Fantasy" with the character names changed.[8] Aguirre-Sacasa later became a writer and producer on the Riverdale television series.

Other plays produced in 2003 were The Mystery Plays in New York, which had won a writing award the previous year from the Kennedy Center, and a hit production of Say You Love Satan at the 2003 New York International Fringe Festival.

Playwriting continued along with comic-book writing, with several productions of new and old works. In 2006, his semi-autobiographical Based On A Totally True Story (about a comic-book writer/playwright struggling with new-found success and boyfriend problems) was staged at the prestigious Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. When asked by The Advocate, "Which came first, being a comic-book geek or being gay?" he answered, "I would say I was probably a comic-book geek before I knew anything about being gay or straight. I certainly loved superheroes before I knew I was gay..." He also noted the play was, "thankfully", not about his current boyfriend.[9]

Good Boys and True, about a graphic sex tape that begins circulating around an all-boys prep school outside Washington, D.C., premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in winter 2008.[10]

In mid-2009, the Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, premiered his play The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on the novel by Oscar Wilde. That same year, Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Tonci Zonjic finished Marvel Comics' Marvel Divas miniseries, and he began working as a writer for the HBO series Big Love, a position he continued in 2010 during the show's fourth season.[11][12] In February 2010, he was announced to write the book for the musical adaption of the novel American Psycho.[13]

South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, presented the premiere of his play Doctor Cerberus in spring 2010.[14] He also revised Robert Benton's musical It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman for the Dallas Theater Center production in Dallas, Texas, in June 2010.

In 2011, Aguirre-Sacasa was approached by the producers of the troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to help rewrite its script.[15][16][17]

In May 2011, Aguirre-Sacasa was hired as a co-producer and writer of Glee.[18] Two months later, he was hired to write the comic book Archie meets Glee, published in 2013.[19]

London's Almeida Theatre said in April 2013 that Aguirre-Sacasa is writing the script for a musical based on Bret Easton Ellis's novel American Psycho, to run December 3, 2013, to January 25, 2014.[20]


Aguirre-Sacasa grew up liking comic books, recalling in 2003, "My mom would take us out to the 7-Eleven on River Road during the summer, and we would get Slurpees and buy comics off the spinning rack. I would read them all over and over again, and draw my own pictures and stuff."[6] He began writing for Marvel Comics, he explained, when "Marvel hired an editor to find new writers, and they hired her from a theatrical agency. So she started calling theaters and asking if they knew any playwrights who might be good for comic books. A couple of different theaters said she should look at me. So she called me, I sent her a couple of my plays and she said "Great, would you like to pitch on a couple of comic books in the works?"[6]

His first submissions were "not what [they were] interested in for the character[s]" but eventually he was signed for the Fantastic Four, with the first issues published early in 2004. The 11-page Fantastic Four story "The True Meaning of..." was in the Marvel Holiday Special 2004.[21] He went on to write Fantastic Four stories in Marvel Knights 4, a spinoff of that superhero team's long-running title; and stories for Nightcrawler vol. 3; The Sensational Spider-Man vol. 2; and Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing.[22]

In May 2008 Aguirre-Sacasa returned to the Fantastic Four with a miniseries tie-in to the company-wide "Secret Invasion" storyline concerning a years-long infiltration of Earth by the shape-shifting alien race, the Skrulls,[21] and an Angel Revelations miniseries with artists Barry Kitson and Adam Polina, respectively.[11] He adapted for comics the Stephen King novel The Stand.

In 2013, he created Afterlife with Archie, depicting Archie Andrews in the midst of a zombie apocalypse; the book's success led to Aguirre-Sacasa being named Archie Comics' chief creative officer.[2]

Film and television

Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the screen adaptation of the remake of Stephen King's Carrie, released in October 2013.[23] In June 2013 was scheduled to write Warner Bros.' planned live-action Archie movie.[24] He also wrote The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a remake of the cult-classic horror film of the same name.[25]

Aguirre-Sacasa wrote for television episodes of Glee, Big Love and Looking. In addition, he is the series developer of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.[26][27][28][29]


He received GLAAD Media Award nominations for Golden Age[14] and for Say You Love Satan,[14] with the latter also winning a New York International Fringe Festival Excellence in Playwriting Award.[30] He tied for a Harvey Award for Best New Talent for his work on Marvel Knights Four.[31]



Published plays

  • The Mystery Plays, Dramatists Play Service, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8222-2038-1
  • Say You Love Satan, Dramatists Play Service, 2005, ISBN 978-0-8222-2039-8
  • Based on a Totally True Story, Dramatists Play Service, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8222-2224-8
  • Dark Matters, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2218-7
  • Good Boys and True, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2318-4
  • King of Shadows, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2356-6
  • The Muckle Man, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2333-7
  • Rough Magic, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2332-0
  • The Velvet Sky, Dramatists Play Service, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8222-2331-3
  • The Weird : a collection of short horror and pulp plays, Dramatists Play Service, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8222-2255-2


  • Big Love (2009, staff writer; 2010, story editor; 2011, co-producer)
    • 3.05 – "For Better or for Worse" (written by) (February 15, 2009)
    • 4.03 – "Strange Bedfellows" (written by) (January 24, 2010)
    • 5.09 – "Exorcism" (written by) (March 13, 2011)
  • Glee (2011—2014, staff writer, co-producer)
    • 3.05 – "The First Time" (written by) (November 8, 2011)
    • 3.14 – "On My Way" (written by) (February 21, 2012)
    • 4.06 – "Glease" (written by) (November 15, 2012)
    • 4.16 – "Feud" (written by) (March 14, 2013)
    • 5.06 – "Movin' Out" (written by) (November 21, 2013)
    • 5.18 – "The Back-Up Plan" (written by) (April 29, 2014)
  • Looking (2015, writer, co-executive producer)
    • 2.04 – "Looking Down the Road" (written by) (February 8, 2015)
    • 2.09 – "Looking for Sanctuary" (written by) (March 15, 2015)
  • Supergirl (2015—2016, writer, supervising producer)
    • 1.04 – "Livewire" (written by) (November 16, 2015)
    • 1.08 – "Hostile Takeover" (written by) (December 14, 2015)
    • 1.12 – "Bizarro" (written by) (February 1, 2016)
  • Riverdale (2017–present, developer, showrunner, writer, executive producer)
    • 1.01 – "Chapter One: The River's Edge" (written for television by) (January 26, 2017)
    • 1.02 – "Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil" (written by) (February 2, 2017)
    • 1.11 – "Chapter Eleven: To Riverdale and Back Again" (written by) (April 27, 2017)
    • 1.13 – "Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter" (written by) (May 11, 2017)
    • 2.01 – "Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying" (written by) (October 11, 2017)
    • 2.12 - "Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine" (written by) (January 31, 2018)
    • 2.22 - "Chapter Thirty-Five: Brave New World" (written by) (May 16, 2018)
    • 3.01 - "Chapter Thirty-Six: Labor Day" (written by) (October 10, 2018)
    • 3.15 - "Chapter Fifty: American Dreams" (written by) (March 13, 2019)
    • 3.22 - "Chapter Fifty-Seven: Survive the Night" (written by, along with Michael Grassi) (May 15, 2019)
    • 4.01 - "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam" (written by) (October 9, 2019)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018–present, developer, showrunner, writer, executive producer)
    • 1.01 – "Chapter One: October Country" (written by) (October 26, 2018)
    • 1.02 – "Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism" (written by) (October 26, 2018)
    • 1.10 – "Chapter Ten: The Witching Hour" (written by, along with Ross Maxwell) (October 26, 2018)
    • 1.11 – "Chapter Eleven: A Midwinter's Tale" (written by, along with Donna Thorland) (December 14, 2018)
    • 1.12 - "Chapter Twelve: The Epiphany" (written by) (April 5, 2019)
    • 1.20 - "Chapter Twenty: The Mephisto Waltz" (written by) (April 5, 2019)
    • 2.09 - "Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Eldritch Dark" (written by, along with Gigi Swift)
  • Katy Keene (2020, co-developer, co-showrunner, writer, executive producer)
    • 1.01 – "Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in New York" (written by, along with Michael Grassi) (February 6, 2020)




  1. "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (1973–)". The Playwright's Database. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. Gustines, George Gene (March 2, 2014). "Archie Comic Picks Film and TV Writer for Top Creative Post". The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  3. Nagy, Evie (April 8, 2014). "How Archie Comics' New Chief Creative Officer Is Reimagining Riverdale". Fast Company. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  4. O'Driscoll, Bill (January 18, 2007). "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Imaginary Folklore Drives The Muckle Man". Pittsburgh City Paper.
  5. "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa". Prism Comics. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  6. Bugg, Sean (December 11, 2003). "Other Worlds: Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Fantastic Journeys". Metro Weekly. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  7. Hicks, Cinque (April 9, 2003). "Fallen Archies | Off Script | Creative Loafing Atlanta". Archived from the original on April 26, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  8. Holman, Curt (April 16, 2003). "Arch humor: Fantasy sends comic characters into real world". Creative Loafing. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  9. "SuperPowered", The Advocate (961): 59, April 25, 2006, ISSN 0001-8996
  10. Walat, Kathryn (April 2008). "Sex, Lies, and Videotape à la Aguirre-Sacasa". The Brooklyn Rail.
  11. Phegley, Kiel (March 10, 2008). "Marvel Mondays: Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four". Wizard Entertainment. Archived from the original on March 13, 2008.
  12. "Whatever knows fear..." Broken Frontier. February 7, 2008. Archived from the original on July 9, 2007.
  13. Cox, Gordon (February 2, 2010). "'American Psycho' Musical Takes Shape". Variety.
  14. "Ryback & Culp Reprise Roles in South Coast Rep's 'Dr. Cerberus'". March 25, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-10.
  15. "'Spider-Man' Producers Have Their Eye on Script Doctor with Superhero Credentials". The New York Times. February 16, 2011.
  16. Friedman, Roger (February 21, 2011). "Spider Man Musical Not Getting New Director or Writer, Says Julie Taymor".
  17. Healy, Patrick (March 9, 2011). "Precipitous Fall for 'Spider-Man' Director". The New York Times. p. A23 of New York City edition.
  18. Fleming, Mike. "Broadway Spider-Man Re-Writer Tackles 'Glee' And 'Carrie' Remake", Deadline Hollywood, May 19, 2011
  19. Phegley, Kiel (July 9, 2012). "Jon Goldwater Talks 'Archie Meets Glee'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  20. ""American Psycho" musical to get British premiere in 2013". Reuters. April 20, 2013.
  21. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the Grand Comics Database
  22. "Aguirre-Sacasa talks Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing". Comic Book Resources. February 13, 2008.
  23. Kit, Borys (May 19, 2011). "MGM, Screen Gems Team for 'Carrie' Remake". The Hollywood Reporter.
  24. Finke, Nikki; Fleming, Mike Jr. (June 6, 2013). "Archie Comics Movie Deal Set at Warner Bros: High School Comedy With Zombies? Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to Write, Jason Moore to Direct, Roy Lee-Dan Lin Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  25. "Addison Timlin Joins Ryan Murphy's The Town That Dreaded Sunlight Remake". April 3, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  26. Andreeva, Nellie (October 23, 2014). "Archie Comics Drama Series 'Riverdale' Set at Fox With Greg Berlanti Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  27. de Moraes, Lisa (July 10, 2015). "Archie Comics Drama 'Riverdale' Moved To CW With Greg Berlanti Producing – Comic Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  28. Stanhope, Kate (September 20, 2017). "'Riverdale' Companion Series 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' In the Works at The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  29. Andreeva, Nellie (December 1, 2017). "Sabrina The Teenage Witch Series Picked Up By Netflix With 2-Season Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  30. Jones, Kenneth (February 14, 2006). "Casting Complete for MTC's Totally True Story, a World Premiere". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  31. "2006 Harvey Awards". Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  32. "[List of] Cherry Red Productions". Cherry Red Productions. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  33. Jones, Kenneth (August 8, 2001). "Muckle Man Emerges from the Sea for DC World Premiere". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  34. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (2009). Rough Magic. Dramatists Play Service.
  35. "Dark Matters by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa". About The Artists, The Production History of the World.
  36. "Translation/Adaptation of It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman by Charles Strouse". About The Artists, The Production History of the World.
  37. "The Weird by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa" Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine, 12 Peers Theater
  38. "Stage review: City's 'Abigail' gives history spooky twist". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
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