Riverdale has found its Archie. Young actor K.J. Apa has been enlisted to play the iconic comic book teen, Archie Comics announced on their website. The CW pilot has also cast Ashleigh Murray as Josie, the frontwoman of Josie and the Pussycats.
From Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), Riverdale is a surprising and subversive take on the classic comic series Archie and features the titular character, Betty, Veronica, and more exploring the quirks and oddities of their hometown.
Apa’s Archie is an intense, conflicted teen, a high school sophomore who got in shape over summer and now has to handle newfound attention from his female classmates. He struggles balancing his social life with his passion for writing and performing music — against the wishes of his father and his football coach.
Meanwhile, Josie is described as a snooty and ambitious teen. She’s the lead singer of Josie and the Pussycats and has no interest in recording any songs written by Archie.
Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Luke Perry has been cast as Archie’s dad, Fred Andrews, a chill parent who owns a construction business in town. He hopes that his son will take over the family trade down the road.
EW confirmed that Madelaine Petsch will play Cheryl Blossom, described as rich, entitled, and never accountable, a manipulative mean girl who kills with kindness. She recently lost her twin brother in a mysterious accident.
Apa’s major work prior to Riverdale was a role on long-running Australian soap opera Shortland Street for 46 episodes. Murray has a few short film appearances on her resume in addition to a one-episode stint on Kevin Bacon’s former Fox drama The Following.
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Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) will play Archie’s lazy friend Jughead Jones, while Lili Reinhart (Surviving Jack) has been tapped for the Betty role.
Arrow‘s Berlanti and Sarah Schechter serve as executive producers on the pilot, as does Jon Goldwater from Archie Comics. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Supergirl, Glee) will write and executive-produce.
Deadline first reported the casting.