'Riverdale' Season 3 Will Address Luke Perry's Death, According To The Showrunner

by Taylor Ferber
The CW/Dean Buscher

While it seems concrete plans haven't been made, Riverdale's creator promised Luke Perry will be honored on the show as it moves forward after the actor's untimely death. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa opened up about the cast and crew's grieving process and how the show will continue on after its tragic loss.

Aguirre-Sacasa was transparent about how the Riverdale team is still coping with Perry's unexpected death, which understandably feels very fresh to them. Perry, who played Archie's (KJ Apa) father Fred Andrews, passed away on March 4 after suffering a massive stroke at the age of 52. "Honestly, we are, I think, all still in shock and are all still processing and grieving," the executive producer told ET. "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."

While there have reportedly been no official storyline decisions, Aguirre-Sacasa plans to pay tribute to Perry, and, further, recognized that the show won't be the same without him. "Luke was, is, and will always be a big part of Riverdale," he continued. "We're kind of a family and when a loss like this happens, you carry it always. It changes and it hopefully becomes a little less painful as time goes by, but you're changed."

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While the creator said he and the crew are "glad" viewers will get to watch Perry in the remaining episodes he's in, they're also determined to continue honoring his legacy. "His spirit, which was so generous and wise and vivacious, we hope will infuse every episode," he said. "So in my mind, every episode for the rest of time on Riverdale will have a bit of Luke in it."

This is also a sentiment Aguirre-Sacasa shared when tweeting about the loss of Perry on March 6, including a photo of Perry with the cast. "Going through pictures on my way to set. From the early days. With Luke in the middle," he wrote. "Our heart, always. Tonight’s episode of #Riverdale finds Fred doing what he does best--helping Archie. It is dedicated to Luke, as all episodes will be for the rest of our run." In the March 6 episode, Fred came to Archie's rescue after he was attacked in their home. After the episode, an on-screen message with a memoriam card honored Perry. Riverdale has aired three episodes since the actor's passing.

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Following Perry's death, it was reported that Riverdale production was shut down, and additionally, cast and crew members were offered counseling services to help their grieving processes. The show's executive producers, along with Warner Bros. and The CW, offered a statement acknowledging how huge of an impact Perry's death will have. "Luke was everything you would hope he would be: an incredibly caring, consummate professional with a giant heart, and a true friend to all," they said. "A father figure and mentor to the show’s young cast, Luke was incredibly generous, and he infused the set with love and kindness."

While nothing will bring the beloved actor back, Aguirre-Sacasa and the Riverdale team will make sure that his character is given a respectful sendoff.