The upcoming Archie adaptation Riverdale is one of our most anticipated shows of 2016, and we’ve already seen, from the original casting notices, that it seeks to shake things up from what we traditionally know about Archie and the gang. Over the past week, casting news has been trickling out, and now we have our Archie and several members of his supporting cast, we can start to see what the show is going to look like.

Playing the titular Archie Andrews is KJ Apa, an eighteen year old from New Zealand whose only role to date is in the NZ hospital soap Shortland Street. While we don’t know much about Apa yet, he’s certainly got the boyish good looks that are sure to send the girls of Riverdale High crazy, and like Archie, he knows his way around a guitar.

 

 

Earlier this month we learned that Cole Sprouse, of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody fame, will play Archie’s best friend Jughead, who is described as an “emo-heartthrob” who is on the outs with Archie as the show begins, possibly because of the dark secrets Archie is said to be harbouring. Lili Reinhart will play Betty Cooper, who in this adaptation has “some self-esteem issues and affinity for Adderall.”

The other new additions to the cast are Ashleigh Murray as Josie of Josie and the Pussycats, Madelaine Petsch as mean-girl Cheryl Blossom, and former high school "teen" heartthrob Luke Perry, of Beverly Hills 90210, as Archie’s dad Fred Andrews.

It’s exciting to see that CW’s Riverdale plans to be more diverse than the core cast of Archie usually is, with the traditionally ginger Archie Andrews instead played by someone of Polynesian descent, a black actress playing the traditionally white Josie, and casting notices calling for a Latina actress to play Veronica Lodge. From the promotional art by current Archie artist Veronica Fish, it seems the show will also feature Archie's first out gay character Kevin Keller. It'll be interesting to see if the show acknowledges Jughead as asexual, as was recently confirmed in issues of his own comic.

Riverdale is set to shoot a pilot this spring, so it’s likely more casting news will be announced in the days and weeks to come. The pilot is written by Archie's chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa who is currently also working on Archie’s horror line of books that includes Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.