Since Fox announced its plans to reboot the cult classic film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the internet has been buzzing with criticism and complaints charging that there can be no replacing veteran actor Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Granted, Curry has made the role iconic, as Tim has done with so many of his roles on stage and on screen, but that doesn’t mean the story told in The Rocky Horror Picture Show shouldn’t be made fresh for younger generations. Apparently, Curry agrees that the show must go on, as he attended the recent Television Critics Association in Los Angeles to give the Laverne Cox led reboot a glowing endorsement.
Tim Curry Is Behind (And In) The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reboot
Attending the T.C.A. was the full cast of the upcoming reboot of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which included Victoria Justice (Janet Weiss), Ryan McCartan (Brad Majors), Christina Milian (Magenta), and Adam Lambert (Eddie), reveals Vanity Fair. Also on hand were Laverne Cox, who will play the reboot’s Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and the former made scientist, Tim Curry, himself. Curry was there to lend support to the younger generation of Rocky Horror Picture Show actors, but also because he plays a part in the Fox event as well.
While Tim isn’t up for any major starring roles which might require a great deal of physical energy, he was able to fill the less demanding role of The Criminologist – An Expert. The stroke Curry suffered in 2014 has prevented him from making many public appearances, but the former Dr. Frank-N-Furter did make it out for the T.C.A. event and gave a heartfelt endorsement of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“Just doing it again, but in a different role… it was a lot of fun,” said Curry. “I remembered quite a lot of the original film because it was my first movie…. It was fun though to do it again.”
Always the voice of pragmatism, Tim says he had another role in mind, because it just made sense. He was surprised to learn, however, that another character was written with Curry in mind.
“I actually offered myself as Dr. [Everett] Scott, because I was already in a wheelchair,” said The Rocky Horror Picture Show actor. “They thought the narrator was a better fit, and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Kenny Ortega, who serves as the reboot’s director, executive producer, and choreographer, related another story, one which expands on Tim Curry’s overall feeling about the reboot. Ortega says Tim was seated nearby, when Laverne Cox performed “Sweet Transvestite” for the first time and, as the actress finished the song, Curry was overcome with emotion, calling out “brava” for the performance. It has been said that this is how Curry feels about the overall reboot of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Cast Share Their Own Thoughts On The Reboot
In covering The Rocky Horror Picture Show T.C.A. panel, Nerdist reveals that each of the starring actors holds a special pride in rebooting the classic film, which has become a staple of many Halloween celebrations. For the lead, Laverne Cox shared that she has been preparing and hoping for the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter throughout her life, even going as far back as her childhood. It was a perfect fit, especially considering the formal education and training Cox brings to the table. The Orange is the New Black actress has a long history of acting in New York and, adding to that, she has a degree in dance and a five-octave voice which Ortega described as “a force,” so the reboot’s producers never doubted Laverne’s ability to fill the role.
“Walking in and bringing something to the room that made us all realize there was no B plan—that if we could land this person in this role, that she would have so much to give to this,” says Mr. Ortega. “Life experience. A depth of talent. An enthusiasm and an incredible respect for this film. She was just an absolute joy. She was the person who gave us reason, really, to make this movie.”
Inevitably, the question of the reason for a reboot came up during the session, and Victoria Justice, who plays the new Janet Weiss, was first to share her thoughts on the motives behind remaking The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Of course, Justice echoes the idea that this reboot is for the younger generations, pointing out that the film might otherwise be lost to them, as time goes on.
“So the fact that it’s going to be airing on TV to the masses is something that is so cool—because now a new generation will be able to sing along to ‘The Time Warp’ and they’re going to be familiar with these characters and inspired by them in many different ways,” said Victoria. “Also having a transgender actor playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter is a reflection of where we are as a society.”
Producer Lou Adler revealed that the music, while remaining essentially the same, is being updated for the younger audiences and says that there will be one new song on the soundtrack, which is to come in a DVD release one month after Fox airs the special. He adds that, even with the changes, fans are more willing to give The Rocky Horror Picture Show reboot a chance, now that Tim Curry is involved.
“As you can imagine, when we announced to fans that we were doing this, there was a tremendous backlash from fans who have been with us for 40 years. That loosened up, and it became more interesting to them, when Tim signed on. His validation gave them something to look forward to.”
[Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]