Riverdale's second season is coming to an end, and it's been possibly even more intense than the first. But take a deep breath, because the CW renewed Riverdale for Season 3 in early April, per Deadline — long before the May 16 conclusion to this chapter. Waiting months after the first finale to find out whether or not Fred Andrews was dead was total torture for Riverdale fans, and it's very likely they'll be left with another major cliffhanger this year. The CW has not announced yet when when Riverdale Season 3 will premiere, but Season 2 kicked off in early October.
UPDATE: Per The Wrap, Riverdale Season 3 will premiere on Oct. 10.
According to Cosmopolitan, Skeet Ulrich revealed at fan event RiverCon that filming for Riverdale Season 3 will begin in summer 2018, meaning it will likely return in the fall. The network will surely reveal more concrete information over the summer hiatus.
However the Season 2 finale ends, it will be tough to top the cliffhanger that ended the season's penultimate episode, when Jughead sacrificed himself to the Ghoulies in exchange for avoiding a gang war with the Serpents. In the Season 2 finale, FP Jones will fall off the wagon, Ulrich told TV Guide, adding that his character's struggle will be an "interesting emotional answer" to all of the trauma the Jones clan is going through at the moment. But according to Ulrich, the Joneses aren't going to back down — FP and Jughead will be more committed to the Serpents than ever. "It's only going to escalate. There's more than one war to be fought," he told the outlet in a separate piece. "The Serpents are a family and for him to just turn tail on everyone is the wrong way to go."
In an interview with TV Line, K.J. Apa, who plays Archie, said that a "tragedy" will befall the group (and one person in particular) in the Season 2 finale — could that tragedy be Jughead's injuries or even death? But there are others in danger as well. Camila Mendes (Veronica) told the outlet, "I think we’re going to be worried about Archie’s fate," pointing at a possible showdown between Archie and Veronica's father, Hiram, who is behind most of the shady business going on in Riverdale this season, from the incoming gang war to the ongoing corruption throughout the town.
Season 3 will also bring some cast shakeups. There's good news for fans of newcomer Toni Topaz — actor Vanessa Morgan was upgraded to series regular alongside Charles Melton, who plays Reggie. And it sounds like Toni's relationship with Cheryl, who can be seen putting on a customized Serpents jacket in the season finale trailer, is stronger than ever as well. Morgan said to TV Guide, "[Cheryl is] a ride or die. They are going to get through this together."
There's also speculation about totally new characters possibly making their debut in Season 3, like Jughead's mother and younger sister Jelly Bean. If the series doesn't resolve Jughead's fate by the end of Season 2, the third season would definitely see Jug's family gathered by his side. That's another fan theory reportedly confirmed by Ulrich during his RiverCon appearance, according to a tweet posted by a fan, and the word of an unnamed executive producer who reportedly told TV Line, "They're coming." This hasn't been outright confirmed yet — but look out for casting announcements this summer. One person who will not be joining the show is Lucy Hale, formerly of The CW's Life Sentence, who dispelled rumors that she was joining the drama in a tweet.
So from new cast members to possible character deaths, there are already plenty of rumors about the upcoming season of Riverdale, but fans will have at least the whole summer to wonder what scandals and dangers will be coming down the pike next.