When Season 4 of Riverdale premieres on Wednesday, October 9, one of the show’s original and most beloved characters will be missing. Following the sudden passing of actor Luke Perry in March, Riverdale will now address Perry’s death by saying goodbye to his character Fred Andrews.
The first trailer for the Season 4 premiere has arrived and gives a sneak peek to what will undoubtedly be a difficult episode for fans of Perry to watch. KJ Apa, who plays Perry’s son Archie Andrews, appears to find out about his father’s passing while with friends Jughead (Cole Sprouse), Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) at Pop’s Chock’lit Shop. The trailer then cuts to shots of Fred’s funeral, a scene that was undoubtedly difficult for the cast and crew to film in light of Perry’s death.
The trailer also shows a tearful Betty saying “He was a father for all of us,” a sentiment that could be said about the fictional Fred Andrews as well as Perry, who was loved by his young cast. Following Perry’s tragic passing after suffering a fatal stroke, the cast of Riverdale flooded social media with their memories of Perry, with KJ Apa praising his on-screen father in interviews.
Perry made his final appearance on Riverdale in Season 3 in a scene he filmed before his death. Following Perry’s passing, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that the remainder of Season 3 would be dedicated to Perry, adding that the show would address Perry’s death in Season 4, allowing the writers time to give Fred a sendoff that was worthy of such a critical and well-loved character.
Not seen in the new Riverdale trailer was Shannen Doherty, who filmed a cameo for the In Memoriam episode. Prior to his death, Perry had been trying to get his old friend to film a guest spot on Riverdale, with Doherty agreeing to the appearance after Perry’s death. Aguirre-Sacasa spoke about Doherty’s guest spot at Comic-Con earlier this year, touching on the former Beverly Hills 90210 stars and their longstanding friendship. “They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role. She read the script and immediately said ‘Yes.’ It’s very impactful,” said Aguirre-Sacasa.
Perry was honoured by another famous show this year when the reboot of BH90210 premiered. The show that propelled the Minnesota native to heartthrob superstar overnight returned in August, with the series’ premiere referencing Luke’s passing several times throughout the episode. Perry was also remembered this summer at the premiere of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, with his son Jack, as well as co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and director Quentin Tarantino speaking about the caring and talented actor who was taken too soon.