Riverdale has provided a wealth of dramatic moments, swoon-worthy ships, and season-long mysteries over the past four seasons, which makes its return in 2021 all the more delightful. When the series does return, it will be doing so in some unprecedented ways — after finishing up the storylines established in its fourth season, including the milestones like senior prom and high school graduation, before jumping forward multiple years into the future. To get fans hyped about the new season, The CW has released a new teaser poster, which shows Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), and Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse).
“It’s funny, we had shot almost two-thirds of episode 20, which was going to be our prom episode. And we looked at that footage and tried to see if there was a way we could cobble together that episode,” Aguirre-Sacasa explained back in May. “We actually had shot the prom, where a lot of very dramatic things happen, but we still hadn’t shot some big character moments between Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead. So we kind of just couldn’t do that.”
“However, when I saw the cut of 19, what’s great about it is all of the kids are in one big story together united against Mr. Honey. And it does end on a pretty shocking, disturbing cliffhanger,” Aguirre-Sacasa continued. “So, it sort of was like, “Oh wait a minute, this could be a great season finale” and then prom would be a great season premiere next year. So it worked out in kind of the best way possible given everything. Obviously we would have loved to have finished the full season, and the last three episodes are fantastic. But to me, this one is fun. It’s a special conceit and it brings everyone together, which I think people love.”
Once those storylines commence and Riverdale’s ensemble gets out of high school, the show will be jumping forward at least five years in time, to follow the characters on their post-college trajectories as adults.
“Season 5 we’re actually doing, I believe, a seven-year time jump into the future so we’re not going to be teenagers anymore,” Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the series, revealed in an interview earlier this year. “I’m really psyched about it. I think it’ll be nice to play an adult. But I also really appreciate that Roberto, our showrunner, was like, ‘Yeah, let’s revamp.’ You know, we’re not just stuck in high school for seven seasons.”
Season 5 of Riverdale is expected to debut on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, on The CW.