The CW's new show, "Riverdale," premieres next Thursday, and comic book fans have high expectations.
The teen drama is based on the beloved 75-year-old "Archie" comic book series. But "Riverdale" is not your grandfather's Archie story — the television show intertwines the struggles of modern-day dating with a small-town murder mystery.
So as Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and the rest of the gang navigate high school life in Riverdale, romances are bound to appear in the storyline. However, one lead actor isn't thrilled about how his comic character's sexuality was adapted to fit mainstream television.
Cole Sprouse — who you might remember as Cody Martin from Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" — plays the role of Jughead.
In the comic books, Jughead was revealed to be asexual.
That simply means Jughead is a person who isn't sexually attracted to other people — a type of sexual identity that's seldom depicted in popular fiction and widely misunderstood in real life.
"Archie" writer Chip Zdarsky told ComicBook.com that he liked the idea of an asexual Jughead because "that's more interesting to me than writing him as just being behind everyone developmentally," he said.
However, "Riverdale" producers decided to nix Jughead's asexuality and make the character a heterosexual male for more compelling plotlines.
"Jughead will have romances with women," Sprouse revealed to Hollywood Life.
Sprouse said he pushed for Jughead to be openly asexual, but he was unable to convince producers.
"Asexuality is not one of those things in my research that is so understood at face value, and I think maybe the development of that narrative could also be something very interesting and very unique and still resonate with people, and not step on anyone's toes," the actor said, noting that he's lucky he comes from an educational environment that encourages a wide range of representation. "But at the end of the day, I still had to do my job."
Although his character will maintain heterosexual relationships, Sprouse hinted a conversation around asexuality might happen in future seasons to come.
"I think there's still a lot of room in 'Riverdale' for that," Sprouse said. "I think sexuality especially is one of those fluid things where oftentimes we find who we are through certain things that happen in our lives."
If season one is one of those events or something like that needs to happen in season one for Jughead to eventually realize that kind of narrative, I'd love to play with that too.
Maybe next season of "Riverdale" will depict sexuality more fluidly.
Season one of "Riverdale" premieres on Thursday, January 26 at 9/8c on The CW.