Following the untimely, tragic death of one of the original show's much-beloved stars, the Beverly Hills, 90210 revival series will honor Luke Perry in a special way, Variety reported. Fox first confirmed the news of a 90210 reboot back in February, but noted that Perry — who played Dylan McKay on the original teen soap — wouldn't be a regular part of the show due to his Riverdale scheduling conflicts. While they've yet to figure out how, exactly, the returning cast will pay tribute to the late actor on the new series, and it's clear that his character's importance won't be ignored.
During a recent panel with other CBS executives at the Keshet INTV Conference in Jerusalem, CBS TV Studios president David Stapf discussed how the show would address Perry's passing. "[Perry] was going to be one of the few who was not going to be in it, because he was committed to Riverdale," Stapf explained.
According to Variety, Stapf then mentioned that they were planning on honoring Perry's memory within the series, but "how we deal with that moving forward is yet to be determined," he said. "That’s something the writers are going to have to figure out."
Despite the fact that Perry couldn't sign on for the reboot full-time, Tori Spelling — who played Donna Martin, and was formative in the idea for a revival in the first place — told Access Live in February that he still wanted to "do as many (episodes) as he can do," given his prior commitments to Riverdale.
It'll be interesting to see how they weave Perry into the show, especially given the premise. While speaking to E!'s Daily Pop, last month Spelling explained that, "It’s not technically a reboot, because I feel like everyone has seen the reboot," she said. "We don’t want to be the last ones like doing the reboot thing, and no one wants to see like old versions of ourselves, but they do want to see us playing our characters, so what we’re doing is the entire cast is playing heightened versions of themselves."
The 45-year-old star continued,
"Think Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, in an hour long show, and we're all playing heightened versions, so it could be fictional, it could be non-fictional, people will have to guess. And then we will have pop-ins, because we're behind the scenes trying to do the reboot."
On March 4, Perry passed away at the age of 52. He was reportedly hospitalized the week prior due to a massive stroke, but the trauma to his brain was too extensive for him to recover, according to TMZ.
Ever since then, heartfelt tributes from friends, fans, and many of his co-stars have been flooding in — including fond memories shared by his former 90210 cast mates like Tiffani Thiessen (who played Valerie Malone), Jason Priestly (Brandon Walsh), Shannen Doherty (Brenda Walsh), Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders), Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor), and Spelling as well.
Throughout his multi-decade career, Perry was clearly very loved. Despite his passing, it's nice to know that his memory will live on through the revival of the show that he was such an incredibly important part of.