Riverdale fans, rejoice, because yes, Cole Sprouse is really singing in the Heathers episode. The actor, who plays Jughead, notably did not take part in the Carrie musical Archie and co. staged back in Season 2 — in part because it made sense for the character (Jughead's not exactly the school theater type), but also because Sprouse isn't much into singing, either. "Cole and I talked about it a while ago and I said, 'How do you feel about musicals and stuff?'" Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told IndieWire, prior to the show's Carrie episode. "He basically said, 'Listen, I never sang for Disney. It would take a lot.' But the truth is, when we really thought about the character of Jughead, he felt like the one character who probably wouldn't exactly be in the school musical."
However, Aguirre-Sacasa also told Bustle during a Riverdale set visit last April that when he asked Sprouse about singing for the show, "he was like, 'You know man, I didn't sing for Disney when I was doing Suite Life but for you, I'll sing.'" Now, Aguirre-Sacasa is cashing in on the promise.
This time around, the Riverdale crew is staging Heathers: The Musical, and The Farm is sponsoring. Kevin is directing again, but with the help of Evelyn Evernever — considering Midge died while he was helming Carrie, he could certainly use the support. She may be creepy and untrustworthy, but Kevin is really drinking the Kool-Aid.
As for everyone's roles, Josie will play Veronica Sawyer, who she describes in an episode teaser as an "outcast, turned Heather, turned outcast again." Sweet Pea plays J.D. — "Veronica Sawyer's bad boy love interest" — while Reggie and Archie are Ram Sweeney and Kurt Kelly, respectively. Betty, Veronica, and Cheryl, meanwhile, will play the show's titular Heathers.
It's unclear what Jughead's character will be, as he's merely referred to as security detail on the cast list Aguirre-Sacasa tweeted. But fans have already been told that Sprouse will perform, so how will he end up onstage in the production? The only clue is in an episode trailer, which shows Bughead putting on their detective hats. The two discover that The Farm is using the musical to indoctrinate teenagers into their cult (only on Riverdale would this make sense), so perhaps Jughead will decide to join Heathers in order to keep an eye on Evelyn and her growing legion of followers.
However, one thing is clear: if the photos from the episode are any indication, Jug does not look psyched to be there. His arms are crossed moodily over his chest during rehearsal, and it seems like Sprouse feels the same, as far as singing is concerned. "Honestly at this point, Riverdale is whatever it is week to week, so it seems pretty right on target for the narrative of our show," Sprouse told TV Guide.
"I think we're all excited that [Cole's] finally going to be part of the musical," Charles Melton (Reggie) said in the same interview. "So yeah, we gave him a little hard time." However, it seems like Sprouse's big singing debut is going to have a huge payoff. "This Wednesday's #Riverdale has the most epic song we've ever done on the show," Aguirre-Sacasa wrote on Twitter. "And these two [Sprouse and Lili Reinhart] are heartbreaking in it."
So whatever this heartbreaking, epic song turns out to be, and whatever role Jughead ends up playing, the Heathers musical on Riverdale promises to be another night to remember.