Ryan Murphy Reveals Original 'NC-17' Glee Script Had Mr. Schue As ‘Crystal Meth Addict’ – Played By Justin Timberlake?!
While Glee has been a fan favorite dramedy since it permiered in 2009, it wasn’t initially pitched with its signature optimistic tone — it was actually MUCH darker. And Ryan Murphy is finally ready to tell all!
The creator stopped by the And That’s What You REALLY Missed iHeart Radio podcast on Sunday to tell us what we really really missed — and are probably glad to have never seen! Speaking to Glee alums Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, aka Artie and Tina, the showrunner opened up about the early stages of the Fox hit’s development — and how vastly different it was from what we have all come to know. After signing a first look deal with the network to spearhead a musical series, Ryan explained:
“We were having these conversations and I was trying to figure it out. Like serendipity, I went to the gym and I was in a towel and a guy went up and handed me a script and he said, ‘I had a feeling you were in show choir, am I right?’ And I was like ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘My friend wrote this script and you should read it.’”
Serendipity, indeed! The American Horror Story creative agreed to read the script, penned by co-creator Ian Brennan. Obviously he saw the potential — but felt in its state at the time it was a bit too dark for network TV. He revealed:
“Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian’s script. The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling… I just need something optimistic.”
He added that William “Schue” Schuester was originally intended to inappropriately touch his students, but the 56-year-old wanted something “not dark” and more “pop-y.” The two creatives then worked together to revamp the script for the more lighthearted tone Gleeks have come to love from the show, while still maintaining some semblance of the original framework. However, one key casting idea could have potentially given the show a completely different vibe — lead character Mr. Schue, the Spanish teacher who arranged for the school’s choir, played by Matthew Morrison, was actually originally written for another musical talent: Justin Timberlake. Ryan confessed:
“When we were writing the pilot, I’ve never really talked about this, that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake. Mr Schue was written for Justin.”
Whoa! They wanted JT as the meth addict? Or the nicer version??
Could you imagine?! We’re glad Matthew ended up getting the gig. What are your thoughts on all the behind-the-scenes Glee news, Perezcious readers? Would you have liked to see the darker version with J.T., or are you happy with what we got? Let us know in the comments down below!
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