It’s happening, you guys — production on Season 5 of Riverdale is officially underway!

Yep, according to the show’s creator, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, filming kicked off on Monday, September 14, after taking a long break due to the coronavirus pandemic. He took to Instagram to share a behind-the-scenes shot of KJ Apa on set, and naturally, it sent the entire internet into a frenzy.

“Annnnnd #Riverdale is back. First scene up of Season 5: Archie in a steam room,” he wrote. “Even in a COVID world, some things never change…”

One day earlier, the showrunner also shared a pic of the cast, which he captioned, “After 14 days of quarantining and months of prep, #Riverdale Season 5 starts shooting tomorrow. Spent the night in the bubble, reminiscing with these lovely people and celebrating @lilireinhart’s 24th birthday. How time flies. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the gang this week. Here we go.”

So exciting! But wait, when is Season 5 going to premiere, you ask? What’s it going to be about? Has the cast spilled any tea on what’s going to go down? And are all of the stars going to return for the fifth season? Not to worry, people, because we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything we know so far about Season 5 of Riverdale

When is Season 5 released?

The CW first announced that the show had been renewed for its fifth season back in January 2020. At the time, their official Instagram account shared the exciting news, writing, “This town never runs out of mysteries. [Riverdale] has been renewed for Season 5!” 

Cami Mendes from Riverdale

It was originally supposed to premiere in October 2020, but unfortunately because of the pandemic, everything got delayed. Now, there’s no official release date for it just yet, but many outlets have reported that it most likely won’t come out until 2021.

Is the entire cast returning for Season 5?

Based on photos from on set posted by the cast, it’s already been confirmed that the main squad — Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Madelaine Petsch, Cole Sprouse and Casey Cott — are all reprising their roles for Season 5. But unfortunately, there’s one star that will be leaving the show, and that’s Skeet Ulrich (who played Jughead Jones’ dad, FP).

“I’m incredibly grateful for the friendships I’ve made on Riverdale, and I will miss seeing everyone on a daily basis,” he told Deadline. “I’m proud to have been part of such a talented group of people, in front of the camera and behind. But I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on to explore other creative opportunities.”

During an Instagram Live, the actor told fans that he decided to depart from the show because he was “bored creatively.”

Cole Sprouse

It was also announced that Marisol Nichols (who starred as Veronica Lodge’s mom, Hermione) was also going to cut ties with the show during Season 5, but she later revealed that she had changed her mind and that she was going to stay after all!

“I had a very long talk with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa — our creator and showrunner of Riverdale — and I’m really proud to announce that Hermoine will not only be back for Season 5, but she will be back stronger and better than ever,” she explained to Access. “I’m really excited telling her story and that side of her. It also allows me to pursue other ventures.”

What’s Season 5 going to be about?

We have good news! The cast and crew has already shared so many details about what we can expect from the fifth season. Get this, you guys — we’re going to watch the squad go to prom and graduate from high school, and then the show is going to make a major time jump.

“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. I’m really psyched about it,” Reinhart revealed on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. “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.”

Lili Reinhart

Petsch also explained during a Q&A, “We’re going to skip the time our characters would be in college. It will allow for the story to be more relationship driven, rather than if they went to college in the show, it would become this messy situation of trying to go to different colleges to see characters. Whose to say what that means for your favorite relationships. Five years is a long time, I’ve never had a five year relationship. I guess we’ll find out.”

What’s going to happen with #Barchie?

During Season 4, fans were living when Archie Andrews and Betty Cooper finally tested the waters on their relationship. So will you continue to see #Barchie flourish in Season 5 or are they done for good?

“The answer is no — we’ve definitely not seen the last of that story,” Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine. “We haven’t seen the end of that story by a long shot.”

Prepare to see more of Toni Topaz during Season 5

Prepare to see a lot more of Vanessa Morgan‘s character, Toni Topaz, during Season 5! The show’s writer, Ted Sullivan, tweeted, “The pandemic derailed production and there was a heavy Toni ep coming up. We’ll still do it, but you’ll have to now wait for S5 instead of S4.”

Vanessa Morgan

Plus, amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the actress called the show out for making her a “side kick.”

“I’m not being [quiet] anymore,” she captioned a post that read, “Tired of how black people are portrayed in media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people. Tired of us also being used as side kick non dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show. It starts with the media. I’m not being quiet anymore.”

After that, the showrunner responded on Twitter, and he promised to give her more scenes during Season 5.

“We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right,” he wrote.  “We’re sorry and we make the same promise to you that we did to her. We will do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color. Change is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.” 

Is Archie going to die in Season 5?

KJ Apa

Aguire-Sacassa left fans worried about their favorite red head when he shared a sneak peek of Season 5 on Twitter. He posted a photo from the comic that the show is based off of that showed Betty, Jughead and Veronica standing together in a cemetery, with Archie’s face floating above them. Uh-oh. We guess we’ll have to wait and see what goes down!

Is Season 5 going to be the last season of Riverdale?

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief because no, Season 5 is not going to be the last season of Riverdale! Yep, fans can actually expect the show to last for a long time. Apa told Los Angeles Times back in March 2020 that he’ll be working on the show for the “next three years.” 

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