On Tuesday, news broke that the role of Reggie Mantle on The CW’s “Riverdale” will be recast for season two, due to actor’s Ross Butler commitments on Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” That announcement was notable as it certainly suggests Reggie will have an expanded role in the next year of the Archie Comics-inspired show — after Butler’s schedule dramatically limited the character’s exposure in season one.
More Reggie makes a lot of sense, given that the lovable and loathsome antagonist is historically the fifth most prominent character in the comic book source material (after Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead), something the show hasn’t reflected thus far. Earlier this month (before the recasting news was announced), “Riverdale” co-star Cole Sprouse — the show’s Jughead — and showrunner and Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa talked to CBR about the importance of Reggie during a press event at The CW’s Burbank headquarters.
“We talk about Reggie, everyone talks about Reggie, and we all very much want Reggie to be one of the fundamental characters that he deserves to be according to the digests,” Sprouse said. “The truth is, the antagonizing nature of Reggie within the show would be a wonderful, wonderful balance for Archie’s narratives. It’s something Roberto and I had talked about a little bit, and is understood. Obviously, we want to see more. We all want to see more.”
“Cheryl’s a great villainess, but in the comics, when Reggie was introduced and had his own comic book, the comic book was called, ‘Reggie, Archie’s Rival,'” Aguirre-Sacasa added, pointing to Reggie’s longtime role as a foil to Archie Andrews.
“Archie’s Rival Reggie” dates back to 1949, and is one of a few series to feature Reggie as a lead character, as he’s a regular fixture in the Archie ensemble, and currently stars in the “Reggie and Me” miniseries by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Sandy Jarrell.
It’s not yet known who will take over as Reggie on “Riverdale.” Both Sprouse and Aguirre-Sacasa made their affection for Ross Butler clear, along with their regret that he wasn’t available to film more episodes of the show.
“He’s a really talented actor that was being tugged between two shows at the same time, and the truth was we didn’t get the priority of the actor at that time,” Sprouse said.
“We love Ross,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “We struggled to cast a Reggie. We wish we could use him more. We used him as much as we got permission to do, and are going to fight to get even more of him in season two.”
Keep reading CBR for more on the future of “Riverdale,” which airs at 9 tonight on The CW.