The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or at least the film adaptation of it, marks its 40th anniversary this year. Directed by Jim Sharman, the movie based on the London stage musical The Rocky Horror Show, is the prototypical cult film, and has been watched and re-watched, in costume and without, again and again by millions of people over the last four decades. So naturally, Fox is remaking it for TV. The new version will air sometime on Fox next year, and if you think this kind of production represents the basest kind of Hollywood cynicism, then wait till you hear who the network has cast as the mad scientist from “Transsexual, Transylvania.”
Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black fame has been hired to play Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror remake, the part made famous by Tim Curry in the 1975 original. Those are some big high heels to fill for Cox, but you can’t say that you won’t be intrigued to see her in the role of the omni-sexual, crossdressing Frank, who gathers an assortment of odd ducks and weirdos to his castle – as well as hapless young couple Brad and Janet – to celebrate the “birth” of his sexual play thing, Rocky Horror.
From the press release:
Lou Adler (Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) executive-producedThe Rocky Horror Picture Show for Twentieth Century Fox, which premiered on September 26, 1975, and is the longest-running movie in motion picture history. Adler met Gail Berman (TV, film and Broadway producer) in 2004. Berman shared his passion and vision for the reimagined version of the 40-year-old cult-classic and, in 2014, they partnered to begin development.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is from Fox 21 Television Studios and The Jackal Group. Adler and Berman will serve as executive producers. Emmy Award winner Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical” franchise, “This Is It,” “Descendants,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Newsies”) will direct, choreograph and executive-produce.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show follows sweethearts Janet Weiss and Brad Majors, who stumble upon Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s bizarre abode. Frank-N-Furter, a sexually ambiguous flirtatious alien mad-scientist, is holding an annual, Transylvanian science convention to showcase the birth of “Rocky Horror” – a fit, attractive man created solely to fulfill Frank’s desires.
The visceral reaction is to hate everything about this, and if that’s the way you’re going to take it, that’s cool. In the meantime, I’ll wonder if Laverne Cox has a good singing voice, and hope that she does. Remaking Rocky Horror is bad enough, remaking it badly and you’ll never be forgiven no matter how much people like your Netflix show.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show will air on Fox sometime in the Fall of 2016.