“Riverdale” has added actors in two very key roles, as reported Wednesday evening by Deadline. KJ Apa, an 18-year-old New Zealand-born actor, will play the lead role of Archie Andrews in The CW’s Archie Comics-based pilot; and Ashleigh Murray has been cast as Josie, of Josie and the Pussycats fame.
Apa was cast after a reported “four-month worldwide talent search” for the Archie role, though Deadline notes that Apa auditioned just this past Friday. His acting credits at this point are limited to a role on New Zealand soap opera “Shortland Street,” and upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose.” Murray is also a relative newcomer, with only an appearance on “The Following” and multiple short films on her IMDb page.
Here’s the official Archie character description: “an intense, conflicted teen, a boyish high school sophomore who got pumped up over the summer working construction and is now juggling the interest of several girls, as well as trying to balance his passion for writing and performing music — against the wishes of his father and his football coach.”
Josie is described as, “a gorgeous, snooty and ambitious girl who is the lead singer for popular band Josie and the Pussycats. She has zero interest in recording any songs written by fellow teen Archie.”
Apa and Murray join the previously cast Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Lili Reinhart as Betty and Luke Perry as Archie’s father.
“Riverdale” is set to be a “subversive” take on the long-running Archie Comics characters, set to explore the “darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.” Greg Berlanti — a major comics-to-TV success with “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Legends of Tomorrow” — is on board as producer, and the pilot script is by Archie’s Chief Creative Officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.