Let's be honest: every year, Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) continues to grow – and what was once the pantheon for all things comics has become the place to be if you're a film or television series looking to make traction with an eager geek fanbase looking to rest their eyeballs on something worthy. Then there are the "con veterans," returning once again to show their love and appreciation for the fan support (like The CW's Riverdale) – or in some instances, giving attendees a final chance to say goodbye.
Bleeding Cool was able to bring you coverage of the show's official panel (more on that below), and also had a chance to sit down with Cole Sprouse (Jughead Jones), Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper), KJ Apa (Archie Andrews), Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blosson), Camila Mendes (Veronica Lodge), and executive producer Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa as they discussed the upcoming fourth season and the bombshells dropped during season three. From the mystery of "The Farm" to what Cheryl is going to do with a certain body in her basement, there was a lot to unpack – hope you enjoy:
At their SDCC 2019 panel, the cast and creative offered up some important news on what's to come during the show's fourth season:
● EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced that the season premiere will feature a special tribute to Luke Perry. Perry's longtime friend and former costar Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210) will guest star in a special role in the episode, which is set to air Wednesday, October 9, at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam" will reflect on Perry's enduring legacy and the indelible impact his character Fred Andrews had on the series.
● Entitled "Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam," the season premiere will reflect upon Perry's legacy and the indelible impact Fred Andrews had on the series.
"They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role. She read the script and immediately said 'yes.' It's very impactful."
● Kerr Smith (The Fosters, Life Unexpected) has been cast in a recurring role as new Riverdale High principal Mr. Honey – appearing in the second episode of season four, "Chapter Fifty-Nine: Fast Times at Riverdale High." Aguirre-Sacasa describes Mr. Honey as "a bit of a hard-ass who takes a harder line with the students this year, especially with the seniors."
● Fans were also treated to a look at the show's lighter side with a Riverdale blooper reel:
Riverdale Special Video Presentation and Q&A
Sunday, July 21, 2019 / 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. / Hall H
Now that the Gargoyle King has been revealed, The Black Hood is dead, and Hiram is in jail, can Archie and the gang have a normal senior year? Riverdale returns for its fourth appearance at Comic-Con to discuss the new mysteries of season 4, including the shocking finale flash forward and what it means for Jughead and the others. Based on the characters from Archie Comics and produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, this one-hour drama is a bold, subversive take on the surreality of small-town life. See a special video presentation followed by a Q&A with series stars and producers.
The third season of RIVERDALE began at the end of summer vacation, with Archie's trial for a murder he didn't commit, orchestrated by Hiram Lodge, building to a shattering conclusion —Archie (KJ Apa) being sent to juvenile detention — even as a new threat reared its head in Riverdale: The Gargoyle King. A figure of myth inspired by the role-playing game Gryphons and Gargoyle, the Gargoyle King started claiming sacrificial victims, beginning with Dilton Doiley! As Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) investigated the deadly game's origins (with their parents, twenty years earlier), Veronica (Camila Mendes) worked ceaselessly to get Archie out of juvie, where he was forced to bare-knuckle box for survival. She finally succeeded in breaking Archie out, but with Hiram (Mark Consuelos) still gunning for him, our red-headed hero broke up with Veronica and headed out of town with Jughead, seeking asylum with Jughead's Serpent mom Gladys Jones.
With Archie and Jughead out of the way, Hiram's criminal takeover of Riverdale continued, with his "candy-making" producing a terrifying side-effect in the students of Riverdale High — inexplicable, stress-provoked seizures — which prompted Hiram's wife Hermione (Marisol Nichols) to order the town to be quarantined. When the quarantine was lifted, the threats to Riverdale had multiplied. The Gargoyle King was still claiming victims; the cult-like Farm Alice Cooper (Madchen Amick) had joined was indoctrinating new members left and right, including Kevin Keller (Casey Cott); and Hiram and Gladys found themselves vying for control of the town's drug-trade — with Veronica and her speakeasy, and new beau Reggie Mantle (Charles Melton), caught in the middle.
When a haunted and hunted Archie returns to Riverdale, he finds his beloved town on the brink of collapse. Penelope Blossom has opened a brothel. Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and her girlfriend Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan) have started a gang to challenge the Southside Serpents — the Pretty Poisons. No one is safe, not even kingpin Hiram Lodge, who is shot by none other than new Sheriff FP Jones (Skeet Ulrich)! He survives, barely. And meanwhile, the mysteries surrounding Gryphons and Gargoyles deepen, drawing in all of our characters, including the enigmatic cult-leader Edgar Evernever and his daughter Evelyn.
Resident chanteuse Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) leaves town just as the endgame begins: With Veronica and Archie (training to be a boxer) teaming-up to take down Hiram Lodge once and for all, even as Betty exposes the Farm's horrific truths and Jughead zeroes in on the Gargoyle King's true identity. With one deadly round of Gryphons and Gargoyles left to play, will Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead survive the night and make it to Senior Year?
Based on the characters from Archie Comics, Riverdale is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Aguirre-Sacasa (Supergirl, Glee), Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl), Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl), and Jon Goldwater (Archie Comics Publisher & CEO).