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Luke Perry Joins ‘Riverdale’ Pilot, Archie and the Pussycats’ Josie Also Cast

Alberto Rodriguez, Getty Images / Archie Comics
Alberto Rodriguez, Getty Images / Archie Comics

Like virtually every other decades-old movie, television show and comic book, the Archie comics series is being developed for a modern audience — and its cast is taking shape. In the CW’s Riverdale pilot, New Zealand-born newcomer K.J. Apa will play the titular Archie Andrews, according to Deadline, while Luke Perry has been cast as his father Fred, in a clear play for that ex-90210-fan demographic (i.e. ME).

Riverdale, named for the town where Archie Andrews and his cohorts live, won’t match the “Sugar Sugar”y sweet pep-rallies-and-soda-shoppe-dates vibe of the comic that launched in 1942. Instead, it’s billed as a “subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life – the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.” Intriguing!

Apa and Perry join The Suite Life of Zack and Cody‘s Cole Sprouse as lovable galoot Jughead and Lili Reinhart, who’ll play Archie’s blonde love interest Betty. While no actress has been announced for the role of Veronica, Madelaine Petsch will play Cheryl Blossom, “a manipulative mean girl who kills with kindness,” who “recently lost her twin brother in a mysterious accident.” In the comic books Cheryl vied for Archie’s attention alongside Betty and Veronica, making Archie the most sexually-coveted male redhead in pop culture history.

The exciting news that fellow Riverdale resident Josie, of Josie and the Pussycats fame, will also be featured in the pilot (played by Ashleigh Murray, per Nerdist) is somewhat tempered by a hopefully less-than-accurate description of Josie as “a gorgeous, snooty and ambitious girl” who has “zero interest in recording any songs written by fellow teen Archie.” Blech. How ya gonna do Saturday morning cartoons’ chillest rock chick like that? If the CW plot really is a “subversive take,” it’ll have to do away with the tiresome retrograde binaries like “sweet, naive girl [Betty]” versus “pretty, calculating girl [Veronica, Josie apparently]” that bogged down the comic in its heyday.

Will you watch Riverdale? And do you think Cole will wear that weird beanie as Jughead? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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