In late April, TVLine confirmed that the character of Reggie, played by Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why‘s Ross Butler, would be recast on The CW’s Riverdale. The series follows the characters from the Archie Comics in modern day. Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa stated, “We love what Ross did with the role of Reggie [this season], but because of his commitments to other projects, we couldn’t use him nearly as much as we would have liked.” He went on to explain that for the upcoming season, he wants “more Reggie on our show — he’s Archie’s rival! — and because Ross is unavailable to come back to Riverdale, we’re looking for a new Reggie. Those are big shoes to fill, but we’re confident we can find an actor who is as funny and sexy as Ross. And of course we all wish Ross the best.”
Many speculated that Butler’s departure was confirmation that 13 Reasons Why was coming back for Season 2. It was later confirmed on May 7 that the Netflix original series based on Jay Asher’s 2007 young adult novel was renewed.
Butler spoke with Seventeen.com about if he had known the Netflix series would be picked up when he decided to leave Riverdale nearly two weeks earlier. Ross learned about the renewal at the same time everyone else did. He stated, “It was the night before the MTV movie awards and I was actually out with the cast on our way to a charity event and I got an email for the announcement with the teaser trailer.” Butler cited his decision to leave Riverdale as very difficult, but he has too many scheduling conflicts to accommodate The CW show’s new 23-episode shooting scheduling, which is a large jump from Season 1’s 13 episodes. He admitted,”If I left Riverdale and 13 Reasons didn’t happen, I would not be in a good place. But I was getting some good vibes that it would get picked up.” It looks like he made the right decision.
When asked what he will miss the most about playing Reggie, he said, “Not being able to see everybody for a really long time.” Though he won’t be with the Riverdale cast in Vancouver as they film the sophomore season, Butler hopes to stay in touch with the cast. The cast briefly reunited at Coachella, which reminded him “how much I missed them and how much I enjoy their company.”
While Butler may be too busy playing Zach Dempsey in 13 Reasons Why to continue as Archie’s rival, the show must go on. TVLine confirmed last night that Charles Melton will take over the role of Reggie for Season 2. Melton’s TV credits include Glee and American Horror Story: Roanoke.
Fans will be happy to know that Butler approves of the new casting choice. He posted a video on Friday to his official Twitter account in which he thanks the producers and crew for recasting the character with an Asian American actor. Check out the video below.
— Ross Butler (@RossButler) May 13, 2017