'Riverdale' Creator on Season 4's 'Emotional' Luke Perry Tribute: 'We Were All Crying'

Luke Perry died at the age of 52 after suffering a massive stroke in March 2019

The cast of Riverdale made sure late costar Luke Perry’s presence was felt at at Comic-Con in San Diego.

The Riverdale panel opened on Sunday with a touching video tribute to Perry featuring his most memorable moments as Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad.

“We suffered a huge, huge, huge loss and it’s something we’re going to be feeling for as long as we’re lucky enough to keep making the show,” creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Aguirre-Sacasa recalled one of the first conversations he had with Perry about joining the show, saying the actor felt a personal connection to his character.

“I remember when Luke auditioned, he came up to me and said, ‘I loved this script and when I read the character Fred, I liked him because he is just like me. I have a son and he is just like Archie,'” he said. “Luke and Fred have many, many similarities.”

Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show
Luke Perry and KJ Apa on Riverdale. Dean Buscher /The CW

Perry died at the age of 52 after suffering a massive stroke in March 2019.

While speaking to ET, Aguirre-Sacasa said the first episode of season 4 would serve as an emotional goodbye to Perry.

“It’s almost going to be a stand-alone episode. It’s going to reveal the fate of Fred Andrews and it’s set on July 4th,” he said. “It’s a really emotional episode; it’s a tear-jerker. We had the table read for it about [two weeks] ago and i’m not going to lie, we were all crying. But we think it, again, honors the memory of Luke [and] It honors the memory of Fred. They were both such amazing human beings that we wanted to really ,really craft an emotional and deep tribute to him, which is what I hope this episode is.”

During the panel, it was also announced that Perry’s longtime friend Shannen Doherty will appear on season 4.

“I am deeply honored to pay tribute to Luke on Riverdale. The care in which this show takes in honoring his memory is beautiful,” Doherty wrote on Instagram alongside two photos with Perry, who was her love interest on Beverly Hills, 90210.

“He is missed. Today. Tomorrow. Forever,” she added.

The tribute will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” had on Riverdale, Aguirre-Sacasa, said during panel, according to Variety, which also reported that Doherty’s cameo is “very emotional” and was “something that Luke wanted to happen since season 1.”

Aguirre-Sacasa added, “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.”

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