Riverdale Showrunner Releases an Ominous New Poster for Season 5

We're just a few months away from the return of The CW's Riverdale, and it's safe to say that the series will be coming back to our televisions in a whole new way. The hit series grabbed headlines earlier this year when it confirmed that it will be doing a significant time jump in its upcoming fifth season, something that was originally planned for the end of Season 4 before production was shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While we still have no idea of exactly what to expect in Season 5, a new teaser poster shared by series showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is here to hype fans up. The poster, which you can check out below, shows a grotesque-looking hand rising up from Sweetwater River.

Is Aguirre-Sacasa hinting that a seemingly-dead character will be coming back from the dead? Or could an Afterlife with Archie adaptation finally be in the cards? At this point, it's anyone's guess -- especially as the time jump will be putting its roster of characters in an entirely new situation.

"Season 5 we're actually doing, I believe, a seven-year time jump into the future so we're not going to be teenagers anymore," Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the series, revealed in an interview earlier this year. "I'm really psyched about it. I think it'll be nice to play an adult. But I also really appreciate that Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa], our showrunner, was like, 'Yeah, let's revamp.' You know, we're not just stuck in high school for seven seasons."

The narrative of the new season has been thrown into some interesting footing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after production shutdowns forced Season 4 to end with an "early" finale.

"It's funny, we had shot almost two-thirds of episode 20, which was going to be our prom episode. And we looked at that footage and tried to see if there was a way we could cobble together that episode," Aguirre-Sacasa explained back in May. "We actually had shot the prom, where a lot of very dramatic things happen, but we still hadn't shot some big character moments between Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead. So we kind of just couldn't do that."

"However, when I saw the cut of 19, what's great about it is all of the kids are in one big story together united against Mr. Honey. And it does end on a pretty shocking, disturbing cliffhanger," Aguirre-Sacasa continued. "So, it sort of was like, "Oh wait a minute, this could be a great season finale" and then prom would be a great season premiere next year. So it worked out in kind of the best way possible given everything. Obviously we would have loved to have finished the full season, and the last three episodes are fantastic. But to me, this one is fun. It's a special conceit and it brings everyone together, which I think people love."

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Season 5 of Riverdale is expected to debut on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 on The CW.