The CW’s Riverdale will recast Reggie Mantle, played by Ross Butler in season 1, ahead of season 2 due to the actor’s scheduling conflicts. With the rookie season of the show drawing to a close, preparation for the series’ second season is already well underway. Based on Archie Comics, the Twin Peaks-meets-teen drama has centered its inaugural season around the murder of Jason Blossom. While fans are one step closer to solving the mystery with the penultimate episode promising to reveal the killer, casting news for season 2 is raising new questions about where the story could be headed.
Though Jason Blossom’s murder mystery has been the linchpin of the entire season 1 story arc, the show has excelled in examining the subplots and relationships of its main and supporting characters. For the show’s lead character, straight-laced Archie Andrews has struggled with a never-ending string of girl troubles, his parents pending divorce, his father’s business troubles, and balancing his budding music pursuits with his sports endeavors. If that wasn’t enough to contend with, Archie also has had to deal with a rival in the form of varsity football team captain Reggie Mantle, played by actor Ross Butler.
Season 2 is already poised to finally introduce viewers to Veronica’s jailed father with the casting news of Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge, which is sure to bring a lot of trouble for Riverdale’s core characters, but recent news of a casting shakeup means that Archie’s foe is going to look completely different next season. According to TVLine, scheduling conflicts will prevent actor Ross Butler from reprising his role for the series’ sophomore season, and the role will have to be recast.
In a statement about Butler’s departure, series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said of the role:
[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.
Fans may recognize Butler for his series regular role as Zach Dempsey on Netflix’s popular series 13 Reasons Why. Similar to his role on Riverdale, Butler portrayed a stereotypical jock with a hidden heart of gold. Between the series’ popularity and the loose ended plotlines, a second season renewal seems almost guaranteed. Which could explain why Butler would no longer be available to shoot scenes for Riverdale.
As the role of Reggie Mantle just became vacant, it will be interesting to see who fills the football captain’s shoes. Butler’s Asian-American descent marked a departure from Reggie’s comic book counterpart. With Butler’s limited screen time in season 1, the potential is wide open.
Riverdale continues April 27 with ‘To Riverdale and Back Again’ at 9 pm ET on The CW.