Greg Berlanti is often a man with a very good plan when it comes to small screen comic book adaptations, so those who are fans of Archie comic Riverdale should be looking forward to the new television series premiering a little later this month. Following his work alongside Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim in creating television’s DC Arrowverse - where he had a hand in bringing Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to viewers across the globe – he’s now moved onto Riverdale where he’s looking to bring a darker take of the Archie Comics series to fans. Here’s everything we know about the new series…
Who’s in the Cast?
KJ Apa is taking on the lead role of Archie Andrews, alongside an ensemble cast including Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Lochlyn Minro as Hal Cooper, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Hayley Law as Valerie Brown, Nathalie Boltt as Penelope Blossom, Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle, Olivia Ryan Stern as Tina Patel, Asha Bromfield as Melody Jones, Cody Kearsley as Moose Mason and Caitlin Mitchell-Markovitch as Ginger Lopez. Madchen Amick, Tiera Skovbye, Colin Lawrence, Rob Raco, Sarah Habel and Shannon Purser are all also amongst the cast.
Teaser Trailers and Promos
Synopsis Teases for Chapter One and Chapter Two
Chapter One: The River’s Edge:
“As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realise that he wants to pursue a career in music – not follow in his dad Fred’s (Luke Perry) footsteps – despite his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (guest star Sarah Habel). With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Archie must look for a new music mentor and turns to Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) but she is focused solely on her band, Josie and the Pussycats. Weighing heavily on his mind is also his fractured friendship with budding writer Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves, which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Madchen Amick), aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, but Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), Riverdale’s Queen Bee, who is happy to stir up trouble amongst the others even though she’s keeping a few secrets of her own.”
Chapter Two: A Touch Of Evil:
“As new details of Jason’s death begin to emerge, Archie (KJ Apa) pleads with Miss Grundy (guest star Sarah Habel) to come forward with what they heard at Sweetwater River. Betty (Lili Reinhart) makes an effort to mend her friendship with Archie but takes a different stance with Veronica (Camila Mendes), who is trying to make up for her actions. With rumours around her brother’s death running rampant, Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) deals with the pressure in true Queen Bee fashion, while tensions boil over when Jughead (Cole Sprouse) stumbles upon a secret Archie was hoping to keep hidden. Finally, plans for the annual fall pep rally move forward with a performance by Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and the Pussycats and a special appearance by Mayor McCoy (guest star Robin Givens.) Marisol Nichols, Madchen Amick and Luke Perry also star.”
What are the Cast Saying?
Despite the Betty and Veronica kiss in one of the Riverdale teasers, Lili Reinhart who plays Betty told HollywoodLife that their relationship is one that will remain a friendship rather than something romantic. During the Winter TCA Press tour, she explained: “There’s a group that very, very much wants it. It’s just in our show, they’re not romantically involved.” She added that whilst this was the case right now, there’s no reason they couldn’t be together at some point down the line. She added: “They’re soulmates in a friends’ way. Our show is not meant to be fan fiction. We give them a taste of it when they kiss, but that’s all it is. People love Beronica and they want to see them together, but that’s just not our show.”
Cole Sprouse also spoke to the entertainment news outlet and told of how he was fighting for his character, Jughead Jones to be asexual. He said: “Jughead will have romances with women… and burgers. I come from an educational environment that really praises, as I do, the forms of representation that are otherwise lacking in our public media. But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job.”
Though he won’t immediately be asexual, Sprouse added: “I think there’s still a lot of room in Riverdale for that. Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone’s toes. I think sexuality especially is one of those fluid things where often times we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives.
“If season one is one of those events or something like that needs to happen in season one for Jughead to eventually realise that kind of narrative, I’d love to play with that too.”
He concluded of his character: “His society’s not been too nice to him because he’s pretty anti-establishment and rebellious. Life has been pretty hard. He’s got a really super strong moral fibre and he holds onto that; he values friendships, and he’s super choosy about the people he lets in… but when he lets them in he goes full throttle with it.”
When Does It Start?
Riverdale premieres in the US on Thursday, January 26 at 8pm on The CW. Each episode immediately follows in the UK on Netflix on Fridays at 8am. You can check out a gallery of images from the show below: