'Riverdale' Boss Shares Emotional Photo of Molly Ringwald and KJ Apa Honoring Luke Perry in Season 4 Premiere

Riverdale Molly Ringwald Luke Perry
The CW

The stars of Riverdale aren't holding back their tears.

Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to share an emotional first look photo from The CW drama's upcoming season four premiere.

ET previously confirmed that the one-hour episode will be a special tribute to the late Luke Perry, who played Fred Andrews on the hit series for the first three seasons. The 52-year-old actor died in March after suffering a massive stroke. 

The moving photo shows actress Molly Ringwald tightly embracing her on-screen son, KJ Apa, with tears in her eyes. On Riverdale, Ringwald plays Mary Andrews, Fred Andrews' ex-wife and mother of Archie Andrews.

Aguirre-Sacasa captioned the heartbreaking photo with a small but powerful sentiment: "No words."

Perry's upcoming tribute, which will air Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. EST/PST, is being described as a "tear-jerker" and most of Archie's journey throughout season four will be "honoring his father’s legacy."

"We knew we had to honor Luke and address Luke's death on the show," Aguirre-Sacasa told ET back in May. "When Luke had passed, we had already pretty much plotted out the end of this season and written the end of this season. Rather than try to squeeze something in and potentially not get it right, we thought, 'Let's take a beat and let's figure out really what would be the best way to honor Luke and to honor the character of Fred, and let's do it at the top of season four.'"

"Luckily, Molly [Ringwald] was already slated to come, so we kind of just reflected and wanted to give ourselves the time to do those things right," he added.

Additionally, the episode will feature another special guest star: Perry's former Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star, Shannen Doherty.

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"Luke and Shannen were really, really good friends," Aguirre-Sacasa told ET in July. "Luke had talked to me on and off over the years about trying to find something for Shannen on the show and when we were putting together this special episode, we kind of wanted to include special people from Luke's life."

"There was a very emotional, important role and we sent the script to Shannen and she read it and loved it and said, 'I want to do it,' so it's about honoring their friendship a little bit," the showrunner continued. "I know she was really moved when she read the script and immediately said yes." 

Season four of Riverdale premieres Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m EST/PST on The CW.


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