Riverdale Star Says Season 5's Time Jump Will Span Seven Years

When The CW's Riverdale returns to our television screens later this year, it will be in a completely new sort of status quo. The hit series was forced to shut down production on its fourth season earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and filming on the series has yet to properly resume. If that wasn't enough, the show will also be introducing a significant time jump midway through Season 5, once the show's roster of high school characters graduates from high school. While reports had previously indicated that the time-jump would span five years, one of the series' stars might have hinted that it will be much longer. During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Lili Reinhart said that the time jump will be seven years into the future.

"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," Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the series, revealed. "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."

Reinhart also teased that the time away from filming will have a specific impact on the first episodes of Season 5, as production was shut down in the middle of filming an episode.

"We had two-and-a-half episodes left, so we stopped in the middle of an episode," Reinhart revealed. "So when we go back, we have to finish three days of one episode that we were filming in March. So we're all going to be significantly tanner, maybe I've gained weight during quarantine, so I'll look a little different. It's like five months, it did make quite a difference, I feel like. It'll be easy to tell what was in March and when we filmed in September."

Aguirre-Sacasa previously spoke about how the pandemic changed the structure of Seasons 4 and 5, hinting that there were some major character moments left unfilmed.

"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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Riverdale is currently scheduled to return with new episodes in January of 2021.