Glee creator Ryan Murphy has revealed that the character of Mr. Schue was originally written to be a crystal meth addict.
During an appearance on the ‘And That’s What You REALLY Missed’ podcast, which is hosted by former cast members Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang), Murphy discussed the early stages of developing the series.
“We were having these conversations and I was trying to figure it out,” he explained, according to Insider. “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.’”
Although he loved the musical aspect of the pitch, Murphy felt elements of it were too dark for network television.
“Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian’s [Brennan] script,” he revealed. “The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unravelling…I just need something optimistic.”
Murphy then worked with Brennan to develop the idea, with the script quickly evolving into the version of Glee that fans grew to love for six seasons.
He continued: “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.”
The revelations come just weeks after it was reported that Discovery+ and ID are looking to explore the many behind-the-scenes controversies and tragedies of Fox’s Glee in a new docuseries.
It will include never-heard-before stories and is expected to showcase the highs and lows of production, which have become infamous since the end of the series seven years ago.
This will include the case of Mark Selling, who starred as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on Glee, who took his own life after he pleaded guilty to possessing images of child sex abuse.
Lea Michele, who played Rachel Berry, is also expected to be a focus of the docuseries given that the Funny Girl star has faced numerous accusations of creating a toxic work environment on set.