Cain or Abel? Good or Evil? Joel, or Mike? These are the manichean dualities that define our reality, the paired entities whose opposition powers the combat-loving heart of the universe. But above them all lurks another dyad, one which demands the answer to the most important question of all (i.e., which of two perfectly lovely young woman should a freckle-faced doofus with hashmarks for hair inflict his romantic attentions upon): Betty? Or Veronica?
Greg Berlanti, the comic-adapting mastermind behind The CW’s new Archie pilot, Riverdale, is apparently finally willing to tackle these deeper mysteries head-on, casting newcomer actress Camila Mendes as the Veronica to Lili Reinhart’s previously hired Betty. The character is being described as “intelligent and confident,” as well as “a silver-tongued high school sophomore who returns to Riverdale from New York, eager to reinvent herself after a scandal involving her father,” suggesting noted cartoon billionaire Mr. Lodge has gotten himself into hot water with the SEC (or possibly something far darker, we guess). The new Veronica will presumably waste no time in clashing with her blonde-haired counterpart Betty for control of Archie Andrews’ fickle heart.
Casting notices—not all of which relate quite so closely to the ongoing war between security and excitement that wages at the center of every human soul—have been trickling in for Riverdale over the last few weeks. Most recently, fellow newcomer Madelaine Petsch was cast as a villainous version of Archie mainstay Cheryl Blossom; she joins New Zealand actor KJ Apa as Archie himself, Disney Channel alumni Cole Sprouse as Jughead, and Luke Perry—who probably has more credits than the rest of his castmates combined, cementing his coveted status as “Elder Statesman Of The Archie TV Show”—as Archie’s dad, Fred.