No matter what’s happening with Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica, Riverdale loves a good mystery. So it’s fitting that, at San Diego Comic-Con, most of the cast was in the dark about what, exactly, season three of the show would entail.
io9 was among the outlets who spoke to members of the Riverdale cast in San Diego last month, mere days after they finished filming the first episode of the third season. At that point, most of them were still unsure what season three would hold. They did, however, offer plenty of cryptic hints.
“The first season was definitely a murder mystery, the first half of the second season was a horror, and the second half of the second season was sort of a crime drama,” Jughead actor Cole Sprouse said. “It’s hard to nail down exactly what [this season] is, but it’s kind of looking like a cult narrative will be sort of the overarching thing. But I know, even based on the first two episodes, we’re making a conscious effort to all be together in the storylines. It’s not so A-side, B-side, this is this team up, this is that team up. It’s much more of an ensemble.”
“We have such a big cast, I think we should really make use of it,” added K.J. Apa, who plays Archie. “It’s not just about the core four, it’s about everyone.”
Some of that will likely be because Jughead’s mom and sister, never before seen in the show, will be new additions this season. That should set up some problems with his gang, the Serpents, which just got a new member in Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch). However, Petsch doesn’t think that story will play out like audiences may expect.
“Cheryl’s throughline for me has always been how much she needs to be loved,” Petsch said. “She’s never really had a family base so this feels like her first time having a familial base, more than anything else. I don’t think for her it’s a gang thing, even though it should be and maybe it will become that. Right now, it’s more about having a unit.”
One unit that may surprise fans this season is the parents. According to Casey Cott, who plays Kevin on the show, that older, other core group has a very interesting story.
“The parents have a cool thing happening,” he said. “They just shot a scene where every single one of them was together and I think it’s fascinating. All sudden you’re like ‘Oh my gosh! They all went to school together too,’ and there’s like a whole other dimension in there, a world that we don’t know about. I think we’re about to discover a lot more about that time, which I think is cool.”
One of the members of that group, Fred Andrews, played by Luke Perry, warned fans about getting too excited about things to come.
“Expectation breeds disappointment, and in Riverdale, you never know what to expect,” he said. “That’s what [that cast] has learned. Every time we think we know, it changes.”
While most of the actors are in the dark about what’s next, Sarah Schechter—one of the show’s executive producers—is not. She used the timing of season three to tease what comes next.
Our characters are, shockingly, just entering junior year [and] I think that gives you a clue about the year. In American schools at least, junior year feels like the most important thing anyone has ever experienced when they’re in the middle of it. You’re thinking about colleges, you’re thinking about careers, am I going to stay in town, am I going to leave, what are my dreams for my life because becoming an adult feels, for the first time, like you can see it. So I think there is a lot about responsibility, and how you process [things]. Certainly our characters have gone though it in the first two years and will inevitably go through it again. “It” being purposefully vague, but watching how they react to that as they continue to come to terms with who they are, what they’ve done, what their families have done—what does it mean that Hal Cooper was the Black Hood?—all of that. Also, [we’re] not going to do the same thing. There’s not another masked killer in town. We constantly want to do things that feel new and different but as as rewarding as previous season.
Riverdale season 3 starts in October.