Calling all the doubters and the haters of FOX’s upcoming remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show: please take a step to the right, because Tim Curry just gave the TV movie his blessing.
When the iconic actor was asked at the 2016 Summer TCA press tour if he endorsed the upcoming remake, he replied, “I do indeed.”
“[Anytime there is anything related to Rocky Horror], I’m pretty much there,” Curry said. “I remember quite a lot of the original film because it was my first movie. I didn’t miss much. It was fun to do it again. I actually offered myself as Dr. Scott because I was already in a wheelchair, but they thought Narrator was a better fit. I enjoyed it a lot.”
As for what made the production magical this time around, Curry explained that he just couldn’t wait to return to the story. “Just doing it again, but in a different role,” Curry said. “[Executive producer/director/choreographer] Kenny [Ortega] runs a very, not easy set, but a set where you really feel you can try anything. It was a lot of fun. I loved being there.”
And for the record, Curry is pretty chill about the fact that Dr. Frank-N-Furter will always be his legacy. “There’s not a lot I can do about it, really,” he deadpanned to the room of journalists, who immediately laughed.
When it came to casting Curry’s iconic role, Ortega revealed that Orange Is the New Black‘s Laverne Cox gave the best screen test that FOX had ever seen.
“A trans woman that wanted to play this role ever since she was a little child. She’s a force,” Ortega said. “Five octave range. A degree in dance from a major university. Walking in and bringing something into the room that made us realize there was no B plan. She had so much to give to it, a life experience, a depth of talent, an enthusiasm and an incredible respect. She was an absolute joy. We knew from the beginning that this was the person who gave us reason to make this movie.”
According to Ortega, casting a trans woman in a role originated by a male didn’t change the character.
“As I studied and as I remembered, Dr. Frank-N-Furter is an alien, so I felt that both Tim and Laverne, that’s what they moved into,” Ortega said. “There’s really lots of room there. Tim is not a transvestite nor is Laverne. They’re both iconic actors. That’s really what we were looking for, the right actor that could breathe life and imagination and fun into this and liberate this character.”
The producers actually revealed that while this project has taken over 10 years to bring to life, it was really Laverne that made it happen. “Laverne made this happen in her own time and our own time,” executive producer Gail Berman said.
Because audience participation is so key to why The Rocky Horror Picture Show has remained a pop culture icon 40 years later, the FOX remake is including all the fun callbacks that fans do in theaters.
“It was there from the beginning,” Ortega said. “When we first embarked on developing this re-imagining, the very first thing that was laid out was that we wanted to celebrate the fans in this departure. The midnight screenings, the adoration, it was really important that we had that connected as a character to the new piece. [But] we wanted to make sure that the callbacks didn’t get in the way of telling the story, that they celebrated telling the story. We found a way to balance the callbacks into the arc of the whole story.”
Executive producer Lou Adler revealed they didn’t give their audience a “callback” script for them to perform. They were all fans and just knew what to do. “It’s just a natural thing,” Adler said. “You don’t write them, as we didn’t in the original.”
So get your newspapers and toilet paper rolls ready, because even if you watch FOX’s remake in your living room, your participation is key. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again premieres Oct. 20 on FOX. Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!