Riverdale star Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones on the forthcoming Archie Comics drama on The CW, would like to see the idea of Jughead's asexuality explored in the series...but he doesn't think it will happen.
Jughead has always been a bit of a social outcast, but it wasn't until writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson relaunched his solo series in 2015 that he was made explicitly asexual. That relatively small period of time, though, has caught the attention of a lot of fans and critics, which of course tends to contribute to some conflicts between long-time readers and newer fans.
"I personally would love to see that exploration, but I'm just the actor," Sprouse told ComicBook.com during a set visit in November. "If I was in full creative charge of this character, things obviously would go a certain way. It seems to me that they're not going to explore that angle and to me that's kind of unfortunate to be quite honest. I think there's a lot of room for growth in that and I think that kind of representation is interesting and I think it's needed, frankly."
The actor noted that he isn't a writer or producer, so those decisions are out of his hands, and even conceded that he can understand why that's not a priority for the writers.
"It's only really been canon in a single iteration of the Archie Universe....It was said really shortly in passing and it really wasn't addressed with the fullness that I think it should have been addressed with. Unfortunately for the other incarnations of Jughead, it has garnered a lot of the attention on his character."
"I'm writing him as asexual, but this is comics, yeah? The next writer could make him discover girls or boys or both and that's totally fine," Zdarsky himself had told ComicBook.com. "There have been iterations of Jughead over the decades where he HAS been interested in girls, so there's room to play around if someone was inclined. For me though, I like an asexual Jughead. That's more interesting to me than writing him as just being behind everyone developmentally."
Sprouse reiterated that he doesn't have the creative control to make declarations about episodes he hasn't seen yet, but he also hinted that at some point they might explore his relationship with Ethel Muggs.
Of course, after Zdarsky left the series, Jughead has explored a dating life a little bit: Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Jughead had a pretty terrible date, which escalated into a prank war.
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Riverdale premieres Thursday, January 26 at 9/8c on The CW.