The CW’s modernized take on Archie Comics has been casting for a while now, but it’s finally revealed its Archie Andrews: 18-year-old New Zealander KJ Apa.
Apa is a relative newcomer to the acting game—aside from a recurring role on the New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street, his first major film credit (an adaptation of the W. Bruce Cameron novel A Dog’s Purpose) is due for release next year. If you’ve not been following along with the excellent comics reboot of Archie, which has re-imagined Andrews and his pals as hip young teens of the modern era, the CW’s description of Archie might confuse you a little bit.
According to Deadline, Apa’s Archie will be “an intense, conflicted teen,” who’s gotten pumped over the summer working on his father’s construction lot and is thus the object of attraction for several of his female friends at Riverdale High. I mean, it is the CW after all. Were you expecting them not to cast someone exceedingly attractive for this? There will be at least one scene in this show’s pilot where Archie is topless, and the camera will linger on his torso. It’s basically guaranteed.
But Aja isn’t the only new casting revealed for Riverdale. Ashleigh Murray has been cast as Josie, lead singer of Archie comics classic Josie and the Pussycats and one of Archie’s schoolmates. Madelaine Petsch has landed the role of Cheryl Blossom, another object of Archie’s affections in the comics, but described in a press release for Riverdale as “a manipulative mean girl who kills with kindness.”
They join Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, and Luke Perry as Archie’s dad Fred.
Header Image Credit: Archie #1 cover by Fiona Staples. KJ Apa photographed by Lula Cucchiara, via IMDB