I’m sorry. Did you think the “this is your tape” conceit of the controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why meant the adaptation of the YA novel was only getting one season? It seems not. And we can all thank Ross Butler, who played the show’s bullying but mournful jock, for tipping the potential season two.
Now, this wasn’t a matter of an actor spilling the beans prematurely. Instead, it was Riverdale’s revealing that Butler’s busy schedule means the race-bent role of bullying jock Reggie would need to be recast for its second season. Speaking with TV Line, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed:
“We love what Ross did with the role of Reggie [this season], but because of his commitments to other projects, we couldn’t use him nearly as much as we would have liked. [Next season], we want more Reggie on our show — he’s Archie’s rival! — and because Ross is unavailable to come back to Riverdale, we’re looking for a new Reggie. Those are big shoes to fill, but we’re confident we can find an actor who is as funny and sexy as Ross. And of course we all wish Ross the best.”
Aguirre-Sacasa doesn’t directly cite 13 Reasons Why, but if we extend our Riverdale yarn wall skills, we can tie this comment to one made by the Netflix series’ teen creeper Devin Druid, who teased where a second season could lead, saying, “There’s still the court trial and some plot lines brewing at the end of the series that I know a lot of people on Twitter have been asking about, including my sibling.”
So, will 13 Reasons Why take the Broadchurch route, following up the investigation into a child’s demise with the court case that shook the already wounded small town to its very roots? It’s likely. For one thing, Netflix isn’t much known for producing one-off seasons if they can help it. For another, they spun the adaptation of the memoir Orange Is The New Black into four seasons, going on five. And with all the polarizing attention the teen drama is drumming up—from think pieces to ardent defenses to concerned classroom discussions—it’s all the more likely Netflix will want to keep its story rolling.
But what does this mean for Riverdale? Reggie has barely been a figure in the first season, popping up just to insult Jughead and briefly compete with Archie for the football team’s captain position. 13 Reasons Why definitely offered the burly Asian-American ingendude a meatier role and more screen time. So more power to Butler! But will Riverdale look to make the recasting as subtle as possible by choosing another Asian-American actor? Or will color-blind casting open up the field fully?
Share your picks for Riverdale’s new Reggie in comments.