NYCC 2018: The Riverdale Panel With Luke Perry, KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Madchen Amick & Roberto Aguirre Sacasa
by Hannah Means Shannon
At the Riverdale Panel at New York Comic Con 2018 on Sunday, the audience got a “first act” preview of the upcoming season premier, with plenty of cheers and applause for drama and jokes in the preview.
Asked if they’ll ever be in class, Roberto Aguirre Sacasa said we will see them more in school, and right now they are working on an episode about the SATs with murder and mayhem too. SATs are worse than murder, of course.
Alice has been “distracting herself” rolling around “with a snake”, according to Madchen Amick. She’s also got a serpent tattoo now.
Archie’s got a new tattoo, which is a serpent tattoo, and KJ Apa didn’t see that coming, he said.
Luke Perry joked that he’ll be getting a “Snake Plisken style” body tattoo.
Lili Reinhart described the main mystery in the first half of the season as an “epidemic” in Riverdale that involved the whole town.
Aguirre Sacasa said this is getting “investigative” and “True Detective” in style this season, with “Bughead” investigating.
Amick teased a lot of cliffhangers this season, but especially after the season opener coming up.
Luke Perry said he’s a “lover not a fighter” but he’s all over Hiram Lodge in the season premier.
Aguirre Sacasa said Hiram is now a “full on villain” but there’s also a “being” called The Gargoyle King tormenting the kids this season.
Asked about clues and connections to the Archie comics this season, Aguirre Sacasa said they keep “boxes” of digests in the writer’s room. There is a character from the comics called Evelyn Evernever who turns up in episode 2 and torments Betty.
Apa said that relationships will be put to the test this season, but Reinhart said that Betty and Jughead are good.
Amick said that she’s going to be dealing with several relationships this season with Alice, including one with a guy who runs the “farm”, Edgar Evernever, Evelyn’s father.
Asked about this season’s cast, Aguirre Sacasa said that they will be welcoming Gladys and Jellybean Jones this season, to applause.
The cast of kids gets to play their own parents in a flashback this season to previous days of Riverdale, and Reinhart got to have long, curly hair, and did her own makeup for the role, she said.
That episode is airing on Halloween, episode 4!
Betty and Alice are never not fighting, the panelists observed. Reinhart and Madchen joked that Alice has joined a cult/commune and is wearing bellbottoms this season, which Betty cannot understand. But if they are ever in danger, they are “bonded” and have each other’s backs.
Apa said that Archie and Jughead are the same—often tense, but if there’s danger, it brings them together.
Talking about parent issues, Luke Perry said that young men often break away from their fathers during key events, needing to rebel, and find other role models. Apa observed that Archie and Fred’s relationship also changes over time, and has already changed a lot between seasons 1 and 3.
Reinhart said that teens get to the point where they can “choose their idols”, and that’s what the kids are doing, moving away from idealizing their parents and looking elsewhere.
Perry said that he’s had more moments on this show than others where the table read involved people going “Huh?” because of mysterious elements.
Apa said that he always thought the Black Hood was Sheriff Keller, and didn’t know the outcome. When has asked one of the writers to spill the beans, he felt that Keller was confirmed by a lack of answers.
Reinhart said that people didn’t suspect the truth because it would be a possibility that one thought of, but then dismissed since it was too complicated an answer.
Asked about wild fan theories, Amick and Reinhart said that people thought Betty or Alice was the Black Hood.
Aguirre Sacasa said a weird fan theory was that Polly was an imaginary aspect of Betty’s personality, like Dark Betty.
Asked if fan theories have influenced the storylines of the show, Aguirre Sacasa said “not really”, since they are aware, but they “stay the course” on their original plans.
Asked if Betty will ever have a happy time in life, Aguirre Sacasa said they always plan to do that, and he assures Reinhart it will happen, but each season that just goes a different direction instead.
Archie’s new “stress reliever” is taking boxing lessons, according to Apa. Archie is going to “fight for his life”, Aguirre Sacasa added. Season 1 was football, Season 2 wrestling, and Season 3 will be boxing, in terms of sports. Aguirre Sacasa promised that they’d also get back to “the guitar”, to applause.
Asked if there will ever be more flashbacks to childhood between Betty, Archie, or others, Aguirre Sacasa said “maybe”, though we have briefly seen “little Betty” and “little Cheryl”.