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37 Little Things You Should Probably Know About "Riverdale"

Did you know Cole Sprouse was originally asked to audition for Archie?

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1. The creators originally pitched Riverdale as a movie. The studio executives were wary, but they loved the characters so much that showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa decided to make it into a TV show instead.


2. Cole Sprouse (Jughead) was originally asked to audition for the role of Archie. He asked to read for Jughead when he found out he was the narrator, because that means he can’t be killed off.

3. Cole had just finished binge-watching The Twilight Zone when he auditioned, so he read the character's narration in the style of Rod Serling.

4. Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl) was originally brought in to audition for Betty – even though the casting directors knew they wanted her for the role of Cheryl all along.

5. Camila Mendes’ role as Veronica is her first-ever professional acting job. She graduated NYU's Tisch School of the Arts last summer.

6. She says she used Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf as inspiration for Veronica, and channels The OC’s Summer Roberts for her more ~humorous~ moments.


7. KJ Apa (Archie) is a natural brunette, and apparently the dye job he got for the show was “gnarly” – he had to bleach and dye his hair every two weeks, and they burnt his skin when they bleached his eyebrows.

8. Queen of teen Molly Ringwald – known for John Hughes movies like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles – will make an appearance later in the season as Archie’s mom, Mary.

9. The rest of the parents aren’t unfamiliar with the teen genre either – Jughead’s dad is played by Skeet Ulrich, who was in Scream and The Craft, and Archie’s dad is Luke Perry, known for Beverly Hills, 90210.

10. Mädchen Amick – who plays Betty's mom, Alice – has had roles in Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, and Dawson’s Creek, but is probably best known for her role in Twin Peaks.


11. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa says they used Twin Peaks as an inspiration for Riverdale. Both shows chronicle the death of a popular high school teenager, but rather than following a detective through the investigation, Riverdale focuses on the victim’s peers.

12. Other inspirations for the show included Stand by Me, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie Brick, the Keanu Reeves movie River’s Edge, and David Lynch’s Blue Velvet.

13. The characters are supposed to be high school sophomores (age 15-16) in Season 1, but timings mean they’ll continue as sophomores in Season 2 – and there’ll be Halloween and Christmas episodes.

14. The Archie-Betty-Veronica love triangle isn’t happening for now – but that’s just a delaying tactic. The creators didn’t want to introduce it too early on, in case the storyline got boring.


15. The writers deliberately decided not to have Jughead regularly mention his love of food (like he does in the comics), because they felt it wouldn't fit with the tone of the show.

16. Cole Sprouse argued for Jughead to be asexual in the show (again, like he is in one iteration of the comics), but agrees that the comics also suggest something romantic between Jughead and Betty.

17. KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart (Betty), Camila Mendes, and Madelaine Petsch were all fans of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (which starred Cole Sprouse) when they were kids. Madelaine preferred Zack to Cody.

18. Camila Mendes and Cole Sprouse both went to NYU at the same time. Camila says they “crossed paths at parties”, but Cole didn’t remember her.


19. KJ Apa wants Betty and Archie to be endgame. He says it's “a classic, iconic relationship”.

20. But Camila Mendes thinks Veronica is better for Archie.

21. The show will explore Betty’s issues with mental health in the latter half of this season.

22. The set for Pop’s Diner was copied brick-for-brick from the real-life diner they shot in for the pilot episode. It’s just a TV set, but it’s so convincing as a diner that a driver once pulled into the parking lot thinking it was real.

23. Lili Reinhart and Madelaine Petsch live together IRL.

24. And there’s ~speculation~ that Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart – who play Jughead and Betty – are actually dating for real.

25. Cole Sprouse is a huge comic book nerd and is in talks to write a few editions of the Riverdale comic spinoff.

26. A Riverdale album is in the works, featuring original songs by Archie and Josie and the Pussycats. You can already listen to a few songs on Spotify.

27. Although there were hints of it, and a lot of fan speculation surrounding it, there was never any incest between Cheryl and Jason.

28. We find out who killed Jason in Episode 12 of the first season.

29. Before they officially found out, the cast each had their own theory about who killed Jason. Cole Sprouse wanted it to be Jughead. At one point, Madelaine Petsch thought it was Cheryl.

30. KJ Apa also thought it was Jughead. This led to speculation from fans on Reddit after KJ gave an interview claiming he was right about the killer all along.

31. They filmed a few different endings for Episode 12 (the one where we find out who killed Jason) in order to confuse the cast and make sure the secret didn’t get out.

32. But they all know now – and they’re the only ones who do. According to Lili Reinhart, they've all been "really good at keeping the secret".

33. There’s a fan theory that the show is heading for an apocalyptic zombie storyline. Riverdale’s showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is the creator of zombie-themed Archie comic series Afterlife With Archie.

34. Aguirre-Sacasa isn’t ruling out the possibility of a supernatural storyline, and he even pitched a more supernatural show to the network – ultimately they decided to go the murder mystery route, because “we thought we could always go [supernatural], but if we started there, it would be hard to take that away.”

35. The way Aguirre-Sacasa looks at it, the town of Riverdale is on one side of the Sweetwater River and Greendale is on the other side – that’s where the supernatural stuff (and Sabrina, the teenage witch!) lives.

36. He says there will be “a strong genre element” to Season 2, but it won’t necessarily be another murder mystery.

37. Aguirre-Sacasa says that the Season 1 finale “was not the finale [the creators] had in mind” and “what happens at the end of the season yet again fundamentally changes what kind of town Riverdale is”.


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