FOX presented a panel for its musical presentation of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ which will air sometime around Halloween, this fall. Laverne Cox leads an all-star cast which includes Victoria Justice as Janet, Ryan McCarten as Brad, Adam Lambert as Eddie, Reeve Carney as Riff Raff, Annaleigh Ashford as Columbia, Christina Milian as Magenta, Ben Vereen as Doctor Everett von Scott, Staz Nair as Rocky Horror, and original Frank-N-Furter Tim Curry as the Criminologist Narrator.
Curry, who suffered a stroke in 2013, was in attendance at a panel for the Television Critics Association, where he discussed participating in the new presentation:
“It was fun to do it again. I actually offered myself as Dr. Scott because I was already in a wheelchair. They thought the narrator was a better fit and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Joining Curry on the panel was Kenny Ortega, who directed Disney’s hit ‘High School Musical’ franchise and their newest hit brand ‘Descendants’. Ortega serves as not just the director of ‘Rocky Horror’ but executive producer and choreographer. He discussed involving the audience participation, which has kept the original film playing in theaters for 40 years:
“When we first embarked on developing this re-imagining, the very first thing laid out was we wanted to celebrate the fans with this new departure. We wanted to bring in a cast that didn’t have to fill in anyone’s shoes. The celebration of the fandom, the 40 years, the midnight screenings, the adoration, it was really important we had that aspect as a character to the piece. We invited Sal Piro to join us, President Emeritus of Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club worldwide. Tim Curry of course joined us right from the start and opened up a dialogue. When we filled the theater with fans, we tried many things. What we wanted to make sure was the callbacks didn’t get in the way of telling the story, but celebrated the way of telling a story. It was trial and error. We found a way to balance the callbacks into the arc of our full story.”
Also present was Lou Adler, producer of the original stage show and movie who also serves as executive producer on the FOX version, who added:
“The callbacks are natural. You can’t write them. As in the first one, it’s a space that was not left for a callback. Something in the dialogue or the visual just prompted the audience to either put on a hat when someone on the screen put on a hat, or make a comment. It’s just a natural sort of thing. You don’t write them, as we never did for the original.
“My son Cisco Adler produced the soundtrack. What Kenny and I said was, ‘Be true to the original but make it contemporary.’ There’s loops and samples but it’s still the original music.”
Ben Vereen, who appears as Dr. Everett Scott, clarified that this new version shouldn’t be seen as a remake of the 70s classic:
“I don’t believe we are remaking anything. I believe we are paying tribute to the great artists who did it before and paying homage to them for allowing us the opportunity to express ourselves through the character. You cannot remake The Rocky Horror Show. It is an iconic piece, but you can pay tribute and honor to it.”
Are you excited to see the remake of this iconic piece? Let us know your thoughts below!