‘Riverdale’ EP Tells Us How the Arrival of Gladys and Jellybean Will Disrupt Jughead and FP Jones

TCA 2018: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also says he’s not necessarily opposed to a “Sabrina” crossover down the line

Last Updated: August 6, 2018 @ 4:50 PM

The Jones boys had better get ready.

We’ve known for a while that Jughead’s mom, Gladys, and little sister, Jellybean, will be making their way back to “Riverdale,” and while showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said that those roles aren’t cast quite yet, he did tell TheWrap a little more about how the Jones women will disrupt the South Side — and the Serpents in particular.

“Whenever we bring characters onto ‘Riverdale,’ it’s very rarely do we say, ‘Oh, let’s bring a nice person who won’t rock the boat who will keep things nice and even.’ And it’s usually like, who can we bring in that will cause disruption?” Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap, adding that Gladys might butt heads with some other important women in the Jones men’s lives. 

“When Gladys arrives, you know, she used to be the Serpent Queen, so I think there might be problems between her and Betty,” he said. “And I think Gladys may know that FP and Alice had a history, they might be currently involved in the present, so that might be problems there as well.”

As for whether or not Jughead and Jellybean will get along, Aguirre-Sacasa said he hopes so, but knows that siblings aren’t always easy best buds.

I think it’ll be a little bit of a journey,” he said. 

“Riverdale” isn’t the only comic book adaptation under Aguirre-Sacasa’s purview. He’s also the showrunner of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which began development at The CW but ultimately landed on Netflix. Earlier in the day, CW president Mark Pedowitz said there won’t be plans for a crossover on his network, but Aguirre-Sacasa didn’t close the door completely  when asked.

What my boss Greg Berlanti always says about stuff like this is, in success, who knows what can happen?” he said. The two towns “don’t have the same zip code, but pretty close.”

Read on for our complete interview.

TheWrap: How will the arrival of Gladys and Jellybean disrupt FP and Jughead and the Serpents?
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: 
Yeah, you know, it’s funny, whenever we bring characters onto “Riverdale,” it’s very rarely do we say, ‘Oh, let’s bring a nice person who won’t rock the boat who will keep things nice and even.’ And it’s usually like, who can we bring in that will cause disruption? We you know, in a way a big story for the Jones men, for FP and Jughead, have been about balancing a stable home life with a life of crime. And the Serpents are sort of on that razor’s edge about being a good biker gang or a bad biker gang, the Ghoulies being a bad one. And I think when Gladys arrives, you know, she used to be the Serpent Queen, so I think there might be problems between her and Betty. And I think Gladys may know that FP and Alice had a history, they might be currently involved in the present, so that might be problems there as well. So it’s funny you know, a character like Gladys has potential to disrupt or affect not just FP, not just Jughead, but Betty and Alice, and all of our characters. Those are the best characters on the show, the kind of characters that can shake up a bunch of people.

How will Jughead and Jellybean get along?
I think in my mind, and it’s still a little bit early, you know we haven’t started breaking story specifically for them. I’d like them to get on. I have a younger sister, and I have an older brother, and when we were kids we did not get along. The older we’ve gotten, we’ve become better friends. So I think it’ll be a journey for them. I think it’ll be a little bit of a journey. But I’m excited about it.

How much of Season 3 will be taken up with the story of Archie’s trial?
That’s a really good question. That’s kind of the story of the premiere. I will say also that I love a good courtroom drama, but I think we decided early on that the season wasn’t going to be based on the trial of Archie. We kind of thought, we’ve seen shows that do that. At the beginning it’s helpful, but then people want to get out of the courtroom really quickly. So it’s a small part, but it sort of sets the course for the rest of the season.

The Ms. Wright character — how much will she be trying to make Archie’s life suck?
You know, Ms. Wright is mostly focused on the trial, and then what we’ll discover… You know like the question of every character, like Ms. Wright who’s prosecuting Archie, is their secret agenda there. It kind of seems like everyone does. So stay tuned.

I feel like that could put our new Mayor in an awkward position, considering it’s her responsibility as Mayor to stand for justice, meanwhile her husband is framing Archie
That’s a big — that’s something that we address, again, in the premiere. But that’s sort of Hermione’s storyline through the season this year is, how do you exist in this gray area, or how do you play both sides, or how do you thread the needle? And we just started breaking an episode where that really comes into conflict. And you know, we haven’t really done a really big conflict episode between Hiram and Hermione, it’s sort of been bubbling underneath, and quietly, but we’re gearing up for it.

A lot is talked about the “Falice” ship — FP and Alice — and while that would be fun to see, will it be weird for Jughead and Betty if their parents were to date? I call it the “Gossip Girl” effect where the parents and kids are both in relationships
Yeah, you know, it’s a really good question, I know the effect you’re speaking of. I did not experience it first hand because by the time that happened in “Gossip Girl” — I was like in grad school so I watched it religiously and then I fell off a little bit — but everyone says that. I think it’s all about execution. And I think it’s all about how deep FP and Alice go. You know, there’s nothing to say that their relationship isn’t going to be a secret affair that they’re keeping. Who knows? We’re mindful of it. We’re mindful of it. But you know, people seem to be ready for it.

So Veronica has this speakeasy. And you’ve mentioned that Reggie will be working there. In some of the Archie comics, Reggie works for Hiram Lodge. Might we see some double agent/mole action from Reggie?
It’s kind of like everyone, and it’s Reggie, it’s Josie and Kevin, everyone’s working at the speakeasy. And we are definitely — you know there’s definitely a lot of secret agendas and things happening around the speakeasy. I will say specifically to Reggie and Hiram, though: Reggie was kind of like, fell under Hiram’s evil influence at the end of Season 2, so I don’t think he’s going to go there. And it does feel like Season 3 is sort of shaping up as a battle of wills between Veronica and Hiram. Last year, it was more Archie and Hiram, this year it’s a little bit more Veronica and Hiram. And Reggie may be fighting on Veronica’s side.

Do you have any musicals in mind for the next musical episode?
You know what, it’s so funny, people pitch me musicals — do you have any suggestions? You know, it’s funny. “Carrie” — we talked through so many musical options, and then I was a huge fan of “Carrie the Musical” and when I just listened, I was like, well let me just listen to the soundtrack, I mean the score, and I was like, this is perfect. So it sort of like, immediately became the frontrunner. There are so many musicals that I love, so many cult musicals that I love, you know, you want it though to be kind of — I think it helped that “Carrie” was a high school musical set i a high school. There are a couple of other cult musicals that we’re looking at. And it was a rock score, basically, you know. As originally, you know, the musical we were going to do was Sweeney Todd, which is one of my favorite musicals. But it obviously has a very different energy than “Carrie the Musical.” It also helped that people weren’t as familiar with “Carrie” as they were with other musicals. So it’s finding the right show for the right moment of our show, and then making sure that the characters align and all that stuff. So we’ve been talking about musical ideas. You know, KJ is obsessed with Spiderman, he wishes he was Spiderman. And I worked on Spiderman Turn Off the Dark, the Broadway musical. And part of me is like should we do Spiderman Turn off the Dark with KJ as Spiderman? I don’t know if, I don’t even know if anyone would let us do it, but the thought’s crossed my mind.

Mark Pedowitz said at the executive session that right now at least, there won’t be a plan to crossover with “Sabrina” on The CW. But do you see potential for a crossover happening on Netflix?
You know, what my boss Greg Berlanti always says about stuff like this is, in success, who knows what can happen? You know right now, we’re so focused on launching “Riverdale” strongly, which I think we’re really doing, and we’re so focused on you know building the world of Sabrina, that they’re kind of discrete entities. But in success, who knows? … We teased obviously the town of Greendale a lot, in “Riverdale,” and you know we make allusions to stuff, so we’ll see.

So they’re at least the same universe
Yeah the towns exist on the same — they don’t have the same zip code, but pretty close.

I have to squeeze in a Salem the cat question. Will he be a real cat? Will he talk? Is he going to provide the same comic relief?
You’ll have to watch the series for that one.

“Riverdale” Season 3 premieres on The CW Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.