Riverdale—The CW’s “subversive,” live-action Archie adaptation, from superhero TV mastermind Greg Berlanti—has started filling in the members of its clean-cut teenaged cast. The all-American teen himself will be played by New Zealand actor KJ Apa, the dubiously honored winner of a four-month “Who looks the most like Archie?” talent search the network has apparently been conducting. But this version of the beloved love-triangle fulcrum isn’t some mere ginger dorkus; no, this is a hot, sexy Archie, who’s just spent the summer getting “pumped up” at his dad’s construction company, because this is The CW, where shirt sleeves and unbared midriffs are always our heroes’ true foe.
Speaking of the Andrews clan’s pater familias, Deadline is also reporting that TV veteran Luke Perry will be taking on the coveted role, a good man who hopes his son will someday take over the family business, instead of getting sucked into Sharknados or killed by Punishers all the time. (Fingers crossed, meanwhile, that all of Riverdale’s adults might end up being portrayed by ’90s heartthrobs, because we desperately want to see the ripped, handsome Mr. Weatherbee that Jonathan Taylor Thomas grew up to be.)
Meanwhile, Archie’s ever-present sidekick Jughead will be played by former Disney star, current terrible Traveler photojournalist (“The train narrated itself. It was a story of an earlier time—of western expansion and migration”), and possible future James Franco, Cole Sprouse. Sprouse’s Jughead is apparently still “smarting” from a rift that’s developed between him and his form best friend, a conflict that we assume will quickly escalate into a spate of Game Of Thrones-esque violence that will give Archie fans the blood-soaked high school corridors they’ve been denied for so very long.
Sprouse actually joined the cast earlier this month, alongside Surviving Jack’s Lili Reinhart, playing the Betty to an as-yet-uncast Veronica. She’s joined today by relative newcomer Ashleigh Murray as Josie, of “and the Pussycats” fame, because obviously we weren’t going to get out of Riverdale alive without at least a few horrible facsimiles of cheerful teenage music to drive us all insane.