Comic Con 2016 Report: Riverdale

Riverdale

The new drama Riverdale – loosely based on the Archie Comics characters – was screened twice at Comic Con 2016; first on preview night and then on day three of the event with a moderated panel that followed the screening.

First of all here is the full synopsis of the show:

As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom (newcomer Trevor Stines) – and nothing feels the same. Archie Andrews (New Zealand newcomer K.J. Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music – not follow in his dad Fred’s (Luke Perry) footsteps – despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale’s young music teacher, Ms. Geraldine Grundy (Sarah Habel from the short-lived shows Rush and Underemployed). Which means Archie doesn’t have anyone who will mentor him – certainly not singer Josie McCoy (newcomer Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind, as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (former Disney child star Cole Sprouse).

Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart from the short-lived Surviving Jack) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves, which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Mädchen Amick of Twin Peaks fame) aren’t the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge (newcomer Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols of Teen Wolf fame), there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, even though Veronica doesn’t want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie.

And then there’s Cheryl Blossom (newcomer Madelaine Petsch), Riverdale’s Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What exactly is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows.

The cast members who participated in the panel included K.J. Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, Luke Perry, Madelaine Petsch, Cole Sprouse and Ashleigh Murray as well as executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, John Goldwater and Sarah Schechter.

When asked how to describe the show, Roberto and John shared that it is like “a teen Twin Peaks with a Sofia Coppola feel.” And after seeing the pilot episode twice, I can agree with that explanation [although the plotline is a bit too predictable and, at times, a bit dull.]

The executive producers and cast then talked about the casting process with the EP’s sharing that they started six months in advance to look for just the right actors for all of the roles in the show, finding K.J. late in the process. Each of the girls then shared that they either did research on their respective characters or receive huge boxes of comics to read through.

Since the panel was very short due to time constraints, the executive producers were asked what teases they could provide for the show, and they shared that the mystery of Jason Blossom’s death will be revealed and that there will be lots of romance.

The series premiere of ‘Riverdale’ will air on The CW during mid-season, but no official airdate has been announced yet.