The CW’s Riverdale panel at Comic Con on Sunday was full of teasers for the upcoming fourth season. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and showrunner of Riverdale, was joined by cast members Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom), K.J. Apa (Archie Andrews), Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge), Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper), and Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones) during the announcements.
First came the announcement that there would be a tribute episode to Luke Perry. Aguirre-Sacasa explained how Perry came onto the show: “I was so shocked that Luke Perry was auditioning and he came up to me, he said, you know, “I read the script, and I love this character Fred because he’s just like me. I have a son who is like Archie and this movie speaks to me.’” After this touching anecdote, Roberto showed a tribute video that was shared at the wrap party after his passing. Aguirre-Sacasa explained that there was also going to be a tribute episode in the upcoming season in order to honor Fred. One request that Luke had had was that his friend and former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty join him in an episode. Although they were never able to make that happen while Perry was alive, she will be a part of the tribute episode, which was announced as the very first episode of the season. Sprouse said her cameo “put the cherry on top” of the tribute episode.
It was also confirmed that Archie’s mom, Mary Andrews, played by Molly Ringwald, will be a recurring character in the new season and will stick around as Archie’s mom full time.
A blooper reel from season 3 was also shared with Hall H that contained some heartwarming clips of Luke Perry, as well.
Other announcements that were made for the upcoming season were that it would be more school-focused with a deep dive into the high school franchise, as it is the senior year for the leads. Events such as their last prom and homecoming game. Kerr Smith, from Dawson’s Creek, will also be playing the high school principal, completing the 90’s revival.
Additionally, there will finally be a Halloween episode.“We’ve never been able to do a Halloween episode before because the schedule’s never worked out,” Roberto said. It will air October 30th in the fourth episode. The only give-away was that someone will die, “someone important.” Roberto quelled fears by adding, “no one on this stage dies.” As far as the costumes, Archie’s is set, but Cheryl’s and Toni’s are pending approvals by DC Comics. Betty will apparently be at home passing out candy, typical Betty style. When Reinhart expressed her disapproval of this, Aguirre-Sacasa assured her he has some surprises in store for her character, to which Reinhart jokingly replied, “so I’m the one who dies.”
Jughead will also now be attending a rich Gossip Girl style prep school in Riverdale and join what Cole calls a “dead poets society” of sorts. He teased that his character, who is already extremely pretentious, will be “out-pretentioused” by all of his classmates. Aguirre-Sacasa stated that this school will be Riverdale High’s new rival, and the rival team will be the Stonewall Stags. Jughead and Jellybean are promised more screen time together, as well. When asked about his thoughts on Jughead’s overprotectiveness in the comics, Cole said, “I like over-protective Jug quite a bit.”
Camila reveals that Veronica will have to deal with her dad’s revenge, which will involve sending paparazzi to unsettle her, causing a distraction at school. It was also revealed that an extended family member, whom she didn’t know existed, will make an appearance. Veronica and Cheryl will also team up for a business venture that will lead to some “sticky trouble.” Nothing more was revealed on this end.
The next surprise was bringing in The Archies Band, which was featured in the Archie comics. This will be during a Battle of the Bands episode that Roberto has been cooking up since he first pitched the series. The band will consist of Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica. Since it is the characters’ final year in high school, Roberto said, “it’s this year or never that we do a “Battle of the Bands” episode.” He also confirmed that music can be expected throughout the season and that there will also be a musical episode, as in seasons 2 and 3.
Roberto promised an onscreen kiss for F.P. Jones and Alice, as well as an old flame returning for Kevin. Additionally, Kevin’s and Betty’s friendship will grow, and Toni Lopez’ backstory will finally be explained.
During the entirety of the panel, KJ and Cole distracted viewers by constantly joking with each other, touching each other (with Cole at one point caressing KJ’s face and KJ kissing his hand). It was, therefore, no surprise that Archie’s and Jughead’s “bromantic” relationship was brought up. The two attested to the fact that they should never have any scenes together because just looking at the other cracks them up. Cole admitted that, “I don’t know if it’s okay for K.J. and I to work together because we legitimately don’t stop laughing. We waste so much time on set,” which anyone in the industry knows doesn’t come cheap.
According to Aguirre-Sacasa, there is also a strong possibility of a crossover between Katy Keene and Riverdale, although the logistics would have to be worked out, as it “breaks the space-time continuum,” referring to the age differences in the characters at this point in the story.
Season 4 will be available on The CW October 9, at 8/7c.