Fans of Archie Comics are going to get a completely new view of Riverdale in The CW’s new series inspired by the comic book town and its famous inhabitants. At the EW and PEOPLE Upfronts Party Monday night, we asked stars Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones, and Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica Lodge, to fill us in on how Riverdale will be different from Archie Comics. They both agreed that fans shouldn’t expect a sunny, happy-go-lucky little town, and teased that the show will have some grit to it.
“Inherently, the show is a little bit grittier,” said Sprouse. “We’re taking very heavy cues from a small series within the actual Archie digest in which Jughead was kind of like a detective and a sleuth.”
“Oh my gosh, it’s so much grittier,” Mendes said. “We’re comparing it to Twin Peaks. The tone, I mean; it’s not the pace of Twin Peaks. This is upbeat, but there are mystery elements. It’s pretty cinematic too in the way that it’s shot. It’s different — it’s not the Riverdale you know.”
Both actors admit to having not read the Archie Comics before being cast, but have since pored through them to be sure to get their characters right.
“We understand that this extremely long-lived and loyal fanbase is fundamentally important to the survival of this show,” Sprouse said. “And we’re going to make we’re going to make sure Jughead is the right Jughead. I’m sure that once people see how Jughead turns out, they’re really going to like him.”
“Someone asked me once, ‘Which decade of Veronica are you going to be?’ But for me, at the end of the day, she’s the same Veronica,” Mendes said. “She’s going to be sassy. She’s going to be the one with all the sarcastic remarks, but I think people are going to appreciate that in the show she’s trying to be a good girl. Like, she’s trying to be a good girl but she’s not very good at it.”