Loosely based on Archie Comics, The CW’s Riverdale has managed to become my new guilty pleasure of 2017. Currently at the mid-season point of its freshman year, the show centers around the mystery of "Who Killed Jason Blossom" (Trevor Stines).
But don’t expect Riverdale to keep the same murder-mystery format for its second season. According to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Season 2 will feature a “big genre element.” And by big genre element, could he possibly mean … zombies? See, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote Afterlife With Archie, a spinoff comic that deals with a zombie apocalypse in the town of Riverdale.
Then there's the fact that Jason was killed by a gunshot wound to the head (you know what gets shot in the head, right? Zombies) and that his sister Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) sorta saw him in a weird dream, looking a bit undead (see the pic below). Add to that the little matter of Jason getting to the Greendale side of the river, where a certain teenage witch named Sabrina lives ... BOOM! Supernatural possibilities galore.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed he almost pitched the show as Afterlife with Archie but decided to go with a more grounded, less supernatural version of Riverdale -- with the future option of adding more supernatural elements as the show goes on:
"In my mind, the mythology is this: Riverdale is a non-magical grounded town with weird stuff happening. Then there’s Sweetwater River, where Jason died, and on the other side of that river is Greendale, where Sabrina and the witches traditionally live. On one side of the river, there’s no magic, there’s no supernatural — that’s where Riverdale is. And on the other side of the mythic river, which is sort of like the River Styx, there’s magic and witches and dark Lovecraftian horrors."
Now, here’s the excerpt from the interview that really piqued my interest. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa discussed the fact that it’s possible they’ll adapt Afterlife With Archie for the TV series down the line, but whether they do it or not, Season 2 will definitely feature “a big genre element.”
If and when you guys do decide to do Afterlife With Archie, would you put a twist on it since so many fans have expectations from the comics?
"Yeah, for sure. There’s already an amazing zombie show on TV, a couple of amazing zombie shows — probably actually three or four. There are a lot of zombie shows, so if we did go there, I think we’d more lean into the Lovecraftian horrors or it would be more like the Evil Dead zombies rather than the Night of the Living Dead zombies, if that makes sense. Night of the Living Dead right into Walking Dead, it seems like they’re biological warfare or they came from science or extra-terrestrial, whereas the Evil Dead zombies are very much about the Book of the Dead and the Necronomicon and demons possessing the bodies and stuff. That’s where I gravitate toward anyway. I’m more horror than sci-fi.
Obviously, I can’t confirm or deny anything, but I will tell you that Afterlife or not, there definitely will be a big genre element to season 2. It won’t suddenly just be a coming-of-age drama. There will definitely be a very strong, bold genre statement. If season 1 is a murder mystery, it won’t necessarily be another murder mystery. We’re telling, for us, kind of the best version of a murder mystery: Who killed Jason Blossom? So whatever twist in genre element that we add in season 2, it’s going to be different from that and probably, I think, it’s going to make people go, “They’re not really doing that, are they?”"
There you have it. Would you like to see Afterlife With Archie adapted on Riverdale? What do you think the big genre element will be? Do you think it's possible Sabrina will bring a little magic to the show?