Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful) and Julia Chan (Saving Hope) have been cast in what are categorized as "lead roles," alongside Ashleigh Murray's Josie McCoy and the as-yet-uncast Katy Keene. Beauchamp will play Jorge/Ginger Lopez, and Chan will play Pepper Smith.
Beauchamp's Jorge works at his family's bodega by day, and by night pursues his dreams as a drag performer under the name of Ginger, tending bar at a local club where Ginger performs onstage. According to the character description, Jorge always has aspired to be a Broadway performer, but he's now looking to take his drag career to the next level. Beauchamp's previous roles include a trans character on Showtime's Penny Dreadful, a drag queen in Thirsty, and an androgynous gay hustler in the Roland Emmerich drama Stonewall.
Ginger Lopez is a character added to the cast of Archie stories in the early 2000s, who was intended to replace Cheryl Blossom, resulting in several stories featuring Cheryl being reprinted as Ginger stories, according to ComicVine. Eventually the idea was abandoned, Cheryl returned, and Ginger was developed as a more original character -- a rich New York wannabe fashion-designer and teen magazine editor.
Chan's Pepper Smith is a New York City "It Girl" who is at the epicenter of all things trendy. As the funny, magnetic life of the party, she dreams of opening her very own version of Andy Warhol's Factory. But behind all the outrageous noise, no one quite knows where she gets all her money — or if she even has any.
Pepper has a much longer history; she was Josie's best friend in the original comics, and, until the 1969 reinvention of Josie's comic, one of the main characters. The original comics focused on three girls (redhead, brunette and blonde), but Pepper was dropped from the comics and replaced by Valerie around the time Josie and the Pussycats became the comic's focus. This change has no explanation. The character has appeared sporadically over the years but is largely absent from contemporary Archie and the "New Riverdale" era.
The spinoff revolves around follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters — including fashion-legend-to-be Katy Keene — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. The musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio.
For the uninitiated, Katy Keene is an Archie Comics character who first debuted in 1945. Dubbed "America's Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions", Katy was a model, actress, and singer who juggled her career with her personal life. The character fell out of print in the early 1960s, only to be revived in the 1980s. The character has only made a few appearances in recent years, including in 1994's Archie Meets the Punisher.
This is the second spinoff series that Riverdale has gotten thus far, after Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series was initially commissioned for The CW before being brought to series by Netflix, and crossovers between the two shows have been pretty scarce in the time since.
In August of last year, The CW president Mark Pedowitz hinted that a Riverdale spinoff could be headed to the network, leading some fans to speculate about what that would entail.
Expect Katy Keene to hit The CW in the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020, assuming the pilot is ordered to series.