The CW does two things extremely well: teen dramas and comic book shows. Now it’s doubling down on a comic book teen drama– ‘Riverdale’ based on the seminal eternal teenagers from Archie Comics.
Now the show has found two of its lead characters. The first is Cole Sprouse, the former child star who starred in the 1999 Adam Sandler comedy ‘Big Daddy’ along with his twin brother Dylan. (They both alternated playing the main child character Julian.) Cole then went on to play Ben, the son of Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer) on ‘Friends’.
Of course, both Sprouse twins went on to greater success on the long-running Disney sitcom ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’/’The Suite Life On Deck’ which ran from 2005-2011, which made the twins the highest paid Disney TV actors and the richest twins of the 2000’s. (You also may remember Cole from his leaked nude selfies a few years ago, but I probably shouldn’t mention that.)
He took some time off from acting to graduate from New York University (along with his brother) but is returning (fully-clothed) to play Forsythe P. “Jughead” Jones, Archie’s laid-back best friend and hamburger enthusiast. Incidentally, ‘Jughead’ currently stars in a critically-acclaimed new comic series by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson which is part of the Archie line of modernized books featuring their classic characters.
On ‘Riverdale’, Jughead has the surprising description as a “heartthrob with a philosophical bent and former best friend of Archie Andrews. He is still smarting from the rift that took place between the two.” While an earlier announcement stated that he “refuses to take the olive branch being proffered by Archie, the hurt goes that deep.”
The earlier announcement stated that The CW was seeking a hearing-impaired actor for the role, but it wasn’t stated whether Sprouse would be playing the role as a hearing-impaired character.
In addition, ‘Riverdale’ has found its Betty Cooper.
Lili Reinhart previously starred on the short-lived FOX sitcom ‘Surviving Jack’ and the 2013 film ‘The Kings of Summer’. Now she’ll be playing the quintessential girl-next-door on ‘Riverdale’.
In the comics, Betty is one third of one of the most famous love triangles in pop culture. On the show, she is described as “sweet, studious, eager-to-please and wholesome with a huge crush on her longtime best friend, Archie. Tired of being the perfect daughter, student, sister, etc., she turns to her new friend, Veronica, for life advice — much to the consternation of her emotionally brittle mother.”
Earlier, a controversial casting call described her as “[having] some self-esteem issues and affinity for Adderall… a goth-like sister and a coveted spot on the cheerleading squad — though with certain conditions.”
The two descriptions are pretty different! The first falls more in line with the juvenile classic comics, while the second is much darker.
The pilot is written by executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Comics’ Chief Creative Officer, who has previously written for TV shows ‘Glee’ and ‘Big Love’. Also producing is Greg Berlanti who oversees hits ‘The Flash’, ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ for The CW and ‘Supergirl’ over at CBS.
Here is ‘Riverdale”s full description:
‘Riverdale’ offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealistic twists of small-town life plus the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. Set in the present in the small fictional town of Riverdale, New York. The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his slacker best friend, Jughead Jones. Popular gay character Kevin Keller will also play a pivotal role. In addition to the core cast, “Riverdale” will introduce other characters from Archie Comics’ expansive library, including Josie and the Pussycats.
The announcement for who plays Archie, Veronica, Reggie and Kevin should be coming soon. (Reportedly, they are seeking a Latina actor for Veronica.)
What do you think of the casting so far? Are you looking forward to visiting a modern take on ‘Riverdale’?