How Luke Perry's Absence From 'Riverdale' Could Be Explained In The Wake Of His Death, According To KJ Apa
Luke Perry's final Riverdale episode aired last week, on April 24, which means it was the last time Archie's dad, Fred Andrews, appeared on-screen — almost two months after Perry's tragic death on March 4. That means the time has come for the cast and crew to figure out how Perry's absence from Riverdale could be explained moving forward, and according to KJ Apa, who plays Perry's Riverdale on-screen son, some of the details are still being figured out right now, but it's a subject that everyone is taking very seriously.
"His legacy is gonna live on in the lives around him, that he worked with, you know?" Apa shared during a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. "I'm never gonna forget him and I think it's still very fresh and we're all still dealing with it." As it stands now, Perry's character has yet to be completely written off the show, however, there is a plan in place that will at least address why Perry's character won't be in any of the upcoming episodes. Fred Andrews will be out of town for the time being, and his estranged wife, Mary Andrews (played by Molly Ringwald) will be filling in the parental void he leaves behind. But as far as long-term plans go, Apa admits it's still all up in the air.
"We're definitely gonna obviously have to address it at some point," Apa stated to ET. "[Possibly] that [means] Molly stepping in as more of an active parent for Archie, but that all depends on the availability of the actors around us. So, you know, we'll do what we can."
This isn't the first time this dilemma has been discussed by someone connected with the show. Series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa spoke with Entertainment Tonight in a separate interview back in March about how he planned to incorporate Perry's death into the narrative. "You know, honestly, we are, I think, all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving," Aguirre-Sacasa told the outlet at the time. "We know that we have to address it in some way, but we're giving ourselves a little bit of time and space before we figure out the best way to honor him."
Additionally, Cole Sprouse dropped a few hints about what Perry's passing will mean for Riverdale's future during a recent appearance on The View last month. "I can't go too much into the spoilers of it, but we do have something planned narratively,” Sprouse teased. "We dedicated some of the episodes to him."
But even now that Perry will no longer appear in any new episodes, Aguirre-Sacasa intends for his memory to live on within the show, telling ET back in March: "His spirit, which was so generous and wise and vivacious, we hope will infuse every episode. So in my mind, every episode for the rest of time on Riverdale will have a bit of Luke in it."
Perry and Fred Andrews may be gone, but at least we can all take comfort in knowing they won't be forgotten.