Good news: Congrats to Archie Andrews, new Riverdale High class president. Bad news: He might be going to the slammer.
Season 3 of CW’s Riverdale, which puts a dark, soap-opera spin on iconic Archie Comics characters, starts off with Archie on trial for murder, and the next year of new episodes will focus on friendships, town strife, a weird cult and the kids actually doing some school stuff in their junior year.
College applications, SATs and extracurriculars will be a part of new season “but with all the crime and drama and mystery” that’s usual in Riverdale, executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said during a panel Sunday at Comic-Con, the geek culture festival.
In the Season 2 finale, Riverdale’s South Side is lost to the “legion of doom” of the rich Lodges, the Blossom family and the Ghoulies gang, Aguirre-Sacasa said. When Season 3 premieres on Oct. 10, the South Side Serpents – now led by Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) with his dad F.P. (Skeet Ulrich) acting as consigliere – are trying to maintain peace with the rival Ghoulies “and that gets disturbed in the first episode back.”
Meanwhile, Archie (KJ Apa) has been framed for the murder of Cassidy Bullock, a lowlife who robbed the gang at a lake house last season. “The distance and separation if he goes away, it will be tough” for Archie’s relationship with Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Apa said.
Veronica pulled a power move on her villainous dad Hiram (Mark Consuelos) and now owns the speakeasy under Pop’s diner. “Veronica is going to be an entrepreneur in Season 3, in addition to being a high school student,” Mendes said. “We’ll show she’s not a spoiled rich girl. She’s trying to prove herself to everyone.” She also predicts Archie and Veronica are “going to run into problems.”
“Bughead” — the couple name of Jughead and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) — are solid and back together as an investigation team when the first mystery of the season is revealed. Betty’s also got issues at home: She’s trying to get over her dad being revealed as the serial killer Black Hood, but mum Alice (Madchen Amick) and sister Polly (Tiera Skovbye) are now involved with a cult called The Farm and “all kinds of weirdness,” Reinhart said. “Betty wants to stay far, far away from them.”
Her boyfriend was just lucky to make it out of Season 2. “Jughead got his (butt) kicked like four times. He was like a magnet for punches,” said Sprouse, adding that he wants his character to be like his comic counterpart and eat a lot more. “He’s going to be chewing on something in every scene, which is strange and fun.”
Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) has emancipated herself from her crazy mum and is fully in a relationship with Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), finally able to come out. “She’s blossomed. She’s living her truth now, which is why she’s changed so much,” Petsch said. However, Cheryl has at times made bad decisions and that will continue. “Now she’s going to make power grabs left, right and center, which may not be that great.”
And Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) kissed Moose Mason (Cody Kearsley) in the last season finale, so “they will be a thing,” Cott says. Kevin will also have to share close quarters with Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) since their parents are dating.
In casting news, Penelope Ann Miller will play Archie’s lawyer, District Attorney Ms. Wright, and the show also plans on introducing Jughead’s mum and sister Jellybean, as well as Edgar Evernever, the cult leader of The Farm.
Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that Riverdale is planning another musical episode and a flashback episode with the younger actors playing their parents in high school.