Inside the sexy comic-book reboot series on The CW

By Chancellor Agard
July 23, 2016 at 06:41 PM EDT

The CW’s upcoming take on the Archie comics will be darker and weirder than fans might expect. Set in the present day, Riverdale follows the beloved characters from the comic books as they deal with both high school problems — like Archie (K.J. Apa) having to go the dance with two different girls — and a murder mystery.

“It’s definitely Archie, but a little darker, a little more complex and a little weirder than you might remember from the digest you bought at the supermarket,” teased executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa when he and the cast stopped EW’s lounge at San Diego Comic Con 2016. “We’re saying it’s a little bit like Archie meets Twin Peaks.”

Aguirre-Sacasa promised the series will be a “mix of the nostalgia and this newer serialized mystery element.” At the same time, the show will give viewers a subversive and Gossip Girl-esque interpretation of the source material. For example, Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) share a kiss in the series, and Aguirre-Sacasa says there will be more of that to come. (There’s a reason EW’s Tim Stack has taken to calling the series “Sexy Archie”). “There is a very taboo slumber party that happens in episode 7 where many of the kids will be kissing,” said Aguirre-Sacasa.

The cast and writers are confident that fans of the comics won’t be too disturbed by this new interpretation because the Archie comics have a history of taking their characters to new and peculiar places. As Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, mentions, Afterlife With Archie has zombies descending on Riverdale. “In terms of character continuity, yes, we of course, are doing them a faithful service, these classic renditions of these character. But the audience is already primed for a new, twisted, film noir, kind of creepy, scary Archie,” said Sprouse.

See the entire interview with the cast above.

Produced by Greg Berlanti, the series also stars Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom and Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Archie’s father. Riverdale will debut midseason on The CW. 

Entertainment Weekly is on the scene at San Diego Comic-Con. Go inside with all our coverage, available here.

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