Riverdale‘s San Diego Comic-Con panel got off to an emotional start on Sunday when showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took the stage and made an announcement. “We suffered a huge, huge, huge loss and it’s something that we’re going to be feeling for as long as we’re lucky enough to keep making the show,” Aguirre-Sacasa said, referencing Luke Perry’s death.
Aguirre-Sacasa remembered that during Perry’s audition for the series, Perry told him “I love this character of Fred because he’s just like me.” Aguirre-Sacasa then shared a tribute reel that the show’s team had put together for the cast and crew at the season 3 wrap party, which was filled with some of Fred’s best scenes, many of which included heart-to-heart talks between Fred and Archie.
Following the reel, Aguirre-Sacasa was asked about the season 4 premiere, which will serve as a tribute to both Perry and Fred Andrews and which will feature Perry’s good friend Shannen Doherty. “We really wanted to honor Luke, we really wanted to honor Fred,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “We wanted it to be a very special episode, kind of [a] standalone.”
In terms of how the show will handle Archie losing his father, Aguirre-Sacasa said Molly Ringwald will return in a bigger way, saying, “She’ll be Archie’s mom more or less full-time this season.”
Other highlights from the panel include:
- This year, the show will do its first Halloween episode, and Aguirre-Sacasa teased that he was trying to get clearance on a couple of DC Comics characters for Cheryl and Toni’s costumes.
- Jughead will be going to prep school in season 4, which Cole Sprouse described as Gossip Girl-esque. That school will serve as the setting for the flash-forwards that will unravel the mystery launched by the season 3 finale. It will also be a rival school for Riverdale High. (Read: Expect a football game between the schools.)
- The Archies, a band made up of the core four — Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead — is coming to Riverdale, along with a Battle of the Bands episode.
- Veronica and Cheryl are going to become business partners. “It’s a little like Risky Business,” Aguirre-Sacasa said.
- Veronica has an extended family member coming to town, though that’s all they shared on the matter.
- Aguirre-Sacasa promised an on-screen kiss between F.P. and Alice.
- One of Kevin’s old flames will be coming back to Riverdale.
- Josie is back in the season 4 premiere despite her starring role in the new Katy Keene spin-off series. Speaking of Katy Keene, Aguirre-Sacasa said, “We probably will be doing a Katy Keene–Riverdale crossover.”
Riverdale returns Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.