Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

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Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Aguirre-Sacasa in 2017
Aguirre-Sacasa in 2017
Born1973 (age 48–49)
OccupationComic book writer, playwright, screenwriter

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, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. He is Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa grew up in Washington, D.C.,[4] the son of the senior Nicaraguan World Bank official turned Nicaraguan Ambassador to the US (1997-2000) and later Foreign Minister (2000-2002).[4] Francisco Javier Aguirre Sacasa and Maria de los Angeles Sacasa Arguello y Gomez Arguello, both Nicaraguan nationals. Aguirre-Sacasa received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University and later a master's degree in English literature from McGill University; he then graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2003.[5]

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 in which 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]

Although he wrote some plays in high school, it was after college, while working as a publicist at the Shakespeare Theatre, that Aguirre-Sacasa had an opportunity to attend a week-long playwriting workshop under Paula Vogel at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.[6] He recalled in 2003 that Vogel held one of her periodic playwriting “boot camps” in the area:

...Paula's a great playwright and a really extraordinary teacher. So Arena invited other D.C. theaters to send their resident playwright to the boot camp. ... Michael Kahn, the Shakespeare's artistic director, had seen a couple of my really barebones productions that me and friends had thrown together here in D.C., and he asked me if I wanted to go. So I did this boot camp with Paula. At the end of it, Paula asked me, "Are you going to get serious about this?" I said I would like to, and she said, "I would get serious about it, right now." While I was working at the Shakespeare I had been writing plays like everyone else -- in the morning, after work, on weekends, but I really wasn't focusing on it.[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 would later develop the Riverdale television series as well as becoming Archie Comics' chief creative officer.

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.[citation needed]

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]

In May 2011, Aguirre-Sacasa was hired as a co-producer and writer of Glee.[17] Two months later, he was hired to write the comic book Archie meets Glee, published in 2013.[18]

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.[19]


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 assigned an 11-page Fantastic Four story, "The True Meaning of...," for the Marvel Holiday Special 2004.[20] 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.[21]

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,[20] 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[edit]

Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the screen adaptation of the remake of Stephen King's Carrie, released in October 2013.[22] In June 2013 was scheduled to write Warner Bros.' planned live-action Archie movie.[23] He also wrote The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a metasequel to the cult-classic horror film of the same name.[24]

Aguirre-Sacasa wrote for television episodes of Glee, Big Love and Looking. In addition, he is the series developer of Riverdale, Katy Keene, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.[25][26][27][28]


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.[29] He tied for a Harvey Award for Best New Talent for his work on Marvel Knights Four.[30]

In 2020, Aguirre-Sacasa was awarded an Impact Award by the National Hispanic Media Coalition for his work as an "Outstanding Executive Producer".[31]



Published plays[edit]

  • 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
  • Abigail/1702, Dramatists Play Service, 2017, ISBN 978-0-8222-3075-5


Year Title Credited as Network Notes
Writer Producer Creator/Developer Showrunner
2009–2011 Big Love Yes Yes No No HBO Writer: 3 episodes
2011–2014 Glee Yes Yes No No Fox Writer: 6 episodes
2015 Looking Yes Yes No No HBO Writer: 2 episodes
2015–2016 Supergirl Yes Yes No No The CW Writer: 3 episodes
2017–present Riverdale Yes Yes Yes Yes Writer: 16 episodes
2018–2020 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Yes Yes Yes Yes Netflix Writer: 10 episodes
2020 Katy Keene Yes Yes Yes Yes The CW Writer: 3 episodes
2020 The Brides Yes Yes Yes Yes ABC Unsold Pilot
2022 Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Yes Yes Yes Yes HBO Max
TBA The Shelley Society Yes Yes Yes Yes
TBA Untitled Fourth Archieverse Show Yes Yes Yes Yes TBA




  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (1973– )". The Playwright's Database. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c O'Driscoll, Bill (January 18, 2007). "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Imaginary Folklore Drives The Muckle Man". Pittsburgh City Paper. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa". Prism Comics. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Bugg, Sean (December 11, 2003). "Other Worlds: Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Fantastic Journeys". Metro Weekly. Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. 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. ^ a b Holman, Curt (April 16, 2003). "Arch humor: Fantasy sends comic characters into real world". Creative Loafing. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  9. ^ "SuperPowered", The Advocate, Here (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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d "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. ^ Healy, Patrick (March 9, 2011). "Precipitous Fall for 'Spider-Man' Director". The New York Times. p. A23 of New York City edition.
  17. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Broadway Spider-Man Re-Writer Tackles 'Glee' And 'Carrie' Remake", Deadline Hollywood, May 19, 2011
  18. ^ Phegley, Kiel (July 9, 2012). "Jon Goldwater Talks 'Archie Meets Glee'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
  19. ^ ""American Psycho" musical to get British premiere in 2013". Reuters. April 20, 2013.
  20. ^ a b Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at the Grand Comics Database
  21. ^ "Aguirre-Sacasa talks Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing". Comic Book Resources. February 13, 2008.
  22. ^ Kit, Borys (May 19, 2011). "MGM, Screen Gems Team for 'Carrie' Remake". The Hollywood Reporter.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Addison Timlin Joins Ryan Murphy's The Town That Dreaded Sunlight Remake". April 3, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 23, 2014). "Archie Comics Drama Series 'Riverdale' Set at Fox With Greg Berlanti Producing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 1, 2017). "Sabrina The Teenage Witch Series Picked Up By Netflix With 2-Season Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "2006 Harvey Awards". Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  31. ^ "NHMC 2020 Impact Awards Honors Latinx Generation Talent | LatinHeat Entertainment". 2020-03-04. Retrieved 2021-08-04.
  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. ^ a b Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (2009). Rough Magic. Dramatists Play Service. ISBN 9780822223320.
  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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