The CW’s Riverdale has done a great job of taking the old familiar characters we all know and love from Archie comics and bringing them into a modern teen noir setting. Now, though, it looks like the show will be going through a big change in Season 2. The character of Reggie Mantle, currently played by actor Ross Butler, will be recast for the next season of the drama. Here’s what series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had to say about the casting change:
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.
So, there you have it. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s words to TVLine certainly make it sound like Ross Butler’s lack of availability is what led to the upcoming recast, as opposed to anything to do with his performance as Archie’s nemesis on Riverdale. And, this makes a lot of sense, because Butler has brought just the right amount of smug, douchebaggery to his role as a high school jock too concerned with football and sex to bother joining in on the fun of trying to find out who killed Jason Blossom and why. Right now, since the show hasn’t given us any real background on Reggie or his home life, he may be a stereotypical dumb, mean and self-important jock, but at least Butler has made the character fun to watch and one of the many folks we love to hate on Riverdale.
The decision to recast Reggie also makes sense if the series really does want to give us even more of the character in Season 2. As Aguirre-Sacasa noted in his interview, Butler, apparently, can’t return to the role at all next season, so those behind the show really had no choice but to replace him. Ross Butler can also be seen on Netflix’s recently released 13 Reasons Why, where he plays Zach Dempsey, an entitled high school athlete who’s pinpointed as one of the reasons why a girl he went to school with killed herself. The show has received great reviews from critics and audiences alike, with the subject matter and casting getting praise. 13 Reasons Why is considered a shoe-in for a second season, and that would certainly tie Butler up and make a return to Riverdale unlikely.
Well, we’re going to miss seeing Ross Butler on Riverdale, but we do look forward to whoever they’ll cast as Reggie next, and that actor’s increased role on the show. You can catch up with Riverdale when it airs Thursdays on The CW, and be sure to check out our midseason premiere schedule, summer premiere schedule and Netflix premiere guide to see what else you can catch on the small screen in the coming weeks.