FOX‘s ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Remake Casts ‘OITNB’ Star Laverne Cox in Iconic Role
Remaking musicals on the small screen has become a bit of a trend in the last couple of years, with NBC’s live versions of Peter Pan and The Sound of Music, and network re-dos of The Wiz and Grease on the way. But there’s one musical update that’s definitely got our attention: FOX’s remake of 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s not the first remake (and likely won’t be the last), but it is the only remake with Orange Is the New Black breakout star Laverne Cox on the roster.
Variety reports that FOX has cast OITNB star and transgender actress / advocate Laverne Cox in the role of transgender mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a role made iconic by Tim Curry in the 1975 film. Curry made his big screen debut as Frank-N-Furter, a glamorous, boisterous and sex-crazed alien whose gender is ambiguous, as touted in the song “Sweet Transvestite.”
The story centers on young, newly-engaged couple Brad and Janet, who stumble upon a peculiar castle while seeking help for car trouble during a storm. Inside the home they find an eccentric array of characters, including the mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter, who has taken it upon him/herself to invent the ideal man to satisfy his/her sexual cravings. The night devolves into violence and madness with lots of singing and dancing along the way.
Cox is the absolute perfect choice for FOX’s new televised production, which is being directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (Hocus Pocus, High School Musical) and is described as a “re-imagining” of the cult classic, but will not be a live performance like FOX’s upcoming version of Grease.
Jim Sharman’s 1975 film was based on Richard O’Brien’s 1970s London stage musical The Rocky Horror Show, in which O’Brien himself played the role of scraggly butler Riff Raff opposite Curry’s Frank-N-Furter. Curry, O’Brien and co-stars Patricia Quinn and Nell Campbell reprised their roles in the 1975 movie, which failed to find an audience during its initial release but quickly became a beloved cult classic — the film is still shown at midnight on Saturday nights in many theaters.
FOX’s new take on The Rocky Horror Picture Show will premiere next fall, but with Cox front and center we’re already getting anxious to head back up to the lab and do the Time Warp again…and again…and again.