And because we've seen the pilot, this seemed like as good a time as any for some good, old-fashioned non-spoilery teasing about just what some of these characters' deals are.
The images feature KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Madchen Amick as Alice Cooper, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, and Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge.
You can check them out on the pages following, along with a little inside information about each character.
MORE: Ashleigh Murray Compares Her Archie to Rachael Leigh Cook's / New Riverdale Photo Showcases Famous Love Triangle / Molly Ringwald is Archie's Mom! / First Riverdale Footage Released / Kevin Smith Wants to Direct An Episode of Riverdale / Riverdale Tie-In Coming From Archie Comics / Supergirl's Melissa Benoist Visits Riverdale, Hangs Out With Archie and Jughead / Ashleigh Murray Shows Off Riverdale's Josie and the Pussycats on Twitter / Riverdale Resumes Production, Showrunner Shares Class Photo / Robin Givens Cast As Riverdale's Mayor -- And It's Josie McCoy's Mom / Stranger Things' Shannon Purser Joins CW's Riverdale
Riverdale stars KJ Apa as Archie, Cole Sprouse as Jughead, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camilla Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Luke Perry as Archie's father Fred Andrews, among others. The series' showrunner is Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer and the writer of Afterlife With Archie, the publisher's wildly popular zombie series.
The all-American teen is dealing with some issues when we first meet up with him. His best friend and sounding board, Jughead, is no longer a part of his life, and meanwhile, he's struggling with an illicit affair with one of his teachers (yeah, that's a minor spoiler, but it's been repeated for months so we don't feel too bad) and juggling the responsibilities of being a popular young athlete/musician with family responsibilities and two gorgeous girls fighting for his attention.
In the comics, Archie just kind of...deals...with all that. It's almost automatic. In the show, audiences will get a sense for what goes into making that kind of thing happen.
“I am the point of view character, but [calling the show] Riverdale is a very intentional thing,” Cole Sprouse told ComicBook.com. “This is very much a story about all the lives, written from an outsider’s point of view. It’s not like I’m from a different town; I am the outsider just philosophically. Jughead has always been a non-conformist, anti-authority-type character, and he still carries that same sardonic, sarcastic attitude in this.”
Jughead's narration carries audiences into the world of Riverdale and offers veiled insight that might or might not turn out to be useful.
Is he a reliable narrator? That's the big question.
Betty feels, in some ways, like the character who changed the least in the transition from the comics to the small screen.
She's still the seemingly-perfect girl next door, still the happy, peppy best friend who's always had a thing for Archie.
She's, if anything, a little less affected than you might expect by the New Riverdale take on her, in which she was kind of a tomboy who could outperform Archie in tasks like fixing up his car.
But, like seemingly every character in Riverdale, there's something hiding there. We don't want to hint at exactly what, because Betty of all people is the one whose secrets are revealed on a slow burn...but let's just say when you watch the trailer, and see that shot of somebody digging their nails into their own palms so deep it draws blood? That's our Betts.
Maybe the most changed from the comics, Veronica certainly retains the core of the spoiled, self-involved rich girl we've known for decades, but she is struggling against that and wants to be a better person.
Arguably the best and most surprising relationship in the Riverdale pilot is the one that emerges between Betty and Veronica, which feels very real and very true to the characters, while subverting expectations that it will be hostile or overly competitive.
Cheryl Blossom is the queen bee of Riverdale High. People might not like her, but they fear her...for whatever that's worth.
“I come into it almost expecting people to understand what’s going on with the show, and then I have to explain to them, ‘No, I know Cheryl Blossom’s not really that relevant in the comics, but I swear I’m in the show!'” Petsch joked. “It’s definitely been a new experience. Of course these are iconic characters, but with [decreased expectations] comes a little less pressure, and then we get to WOW people.”
She is, in fact, a major part of the show. As one of the most popular girls in school, she's a natural foil for Veronica and a big of an antagonist for Betty. Meanwhile, her brother's death is the event that kicks off the series, and it doesn't take long for audiences to start wondering whether she's entirely on the level in her mourning.
If there's somebody who could challenge Cheryl for the "queen bee" title, it would be Josie McCoy.
Her mother is the mayor and Josie is a bit of a local celebrity as the lead singer of Josie and the Pussycats.
"I've had people asking me, 'Is it going to be like the movie?'" Ashleigh Murray, who plays the role, told us. "Everything we're doing with Josie is very different. It's unique and particular to me and how I see her, also tied in with how she was depicted originally. She's definitely not ditzy. She's very determined, she's very specific about what she wants, she's very driven, and even with all that 'girl power,' she has a weakness. I won't say what it is, but it's coming."
Whatever it is, we don't see it right away. What we see is that she's a no-nonsense queen of the local music scene who has very little patience for Archie Andrews.
Betty's gay best friend is probably the major player who gets the least development in the pilot. He's fun, he's funny, and he's charming...but beyond that, we don't really know much of his deal.
We will say that he will play an important role in the mystery of Jason Blossom's death...
The former teen heartthrob Luke Perry will play Fred Andrews, Archie's dad, who has a close relationship with his son and some history with Hermione Lodge, the mother of Veronica.
Perry told ComicBook.com that he knew he wanted to be involved with the show within the first four pages of script that he read.
There's a whole lot teased for him in the first episode, but probably what comes through in his relationships and conversations with both Archie and Hermione is that he's a deeply responsible, somewhat serious, and straight-shooting guy. That's a rarity in a town full of so many secrets, so it will be interesting to see if he stays that way.
Hermione Lodge comes into town all smiles, clearly wounded and recovering from a trauma that has driven her from the glitz of Manhattan back to her simple hometown.
In spite of her kindness and humility -- which appears genuine -- she, too, has a mystery ready to play itself out, and a MacGuffin that will likely drive a lot of fan speculation the week of the pilot.
There's something really great about Madchen Amick being a part of Riverdale, given the frequent comparisons (openly embraced by the producers) to Twin Peaks, a series on which Amick was a major player in the '90s.
"We have Madchen on the show, so she literally brings the Twin Peaks element, and she's gorgeous," Luke Perry told ComicBook.com during our interview with him at Comic Con International: San Diego.
In the pilot, fans will get a sense that, like her character in Twin Peaks, she is perhaps not as innocent as she appears. Her understandable and relatable maternal concern for Betty quickly morphs into something else entirely.