[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Riverdale ahead.]
Another face from the world of Archie Comics, namely Toni Topaz, may be headed to Riverdale in season 2. Riverdale piled on the cliffhangers at the end of its inaugural season, with Cheryl Blossom setting her family's mansion ablaze, Jughead joining up with the South Side Serpents, and most shocking of all, Fred Andrews getting shot. Add in the impending return of Veronica's criminal father and the as-yet-unknown identity of Betty's secret brother, and season two is shaping up to be even weirder and wilder than the previous season-long dive into a small-town murder.
The cast of The CW series have promised "really dark content," that will offer deeper character reveals about the families in Riverdale as well as a "new, looming threat." While news from the showrunners about season 2 has included information about the core cast and some returning characters like Archie's mom (Molly Ringwald), fans have been wondering if any more familiar faces from the original comic series will debut on the show this fall.
Some leaked footage from a Riverdale audition tape featuring Lorelei Linklater (Boyhood) seems to indicate that Toni Topaz will be joining Jughead over at his new school, Southside High. Toni first appeared in Archie Comics in 2012, and the bisexual black female character, with her distinctive pink hair and purple clothing, is indicative of the series' attempts in recent years to present updated storylines and a more inclusive group of characters for modern readers.
Toni's comic backstory has her meeting Jughead at a cupcake-eating contest, and the two bond over some similar personality quirks -- including a fondness for favorite hats. While there's no guarantee Linklater will land the role, her interpretation of the audition scene with Riverdale's famous emo introvert also comes across as a bit flirtatious. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previously teased that Betty was going to have to fight to keep her relationship with Jughead going, and it's possible that Toni will be one more obstacle in the couple's way.
Linklater's audition also means that the showrunners are not necessarily sticking to the exact vision of the character from the comics, which follows how they've dealt with other roles on the show. Considering how much the tone of the series differs from its source material, it would be interesting to see what strange and complicated background Toni might be given if and when she debuts in season 2 -- and if she ultimately has a positive or negative effect on Jughead's new life.
Riverdale returns on Wednesday, October 11 on The CW.
Source: Alex Czuleger