Ryan Murphy has revealed that Glee was originally written to be much darker, with Mr Schuester’s character a supposed “crystal meth addict”.
Fox’s Emmy-winning musical series starred Matthew Morrison as Mr Schue, a Spanish teacher and director of the high school’s show choir.
On a recent appearance on the And that’s What you REALLY Missed podcast, hosted by Glee alums Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) and Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams), creator Murphy discussed the early days of developing the show.
“We were having these conversations and I was trying to figure it out,” Murphy explained.
“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.’”
After reading the script, he said that while it was the perfect idea for a musical show, he felt it was too dark for network television.
“Mr Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian’s [Brennan] script,” Murphy said. “The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unravelling… I just need something optimistic.”
Murphy worked with co-creator Brennan to overhaul the pilot’s script into the show fans know today.
He then revealed: “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 fan-favourite series ran for six seasons beginning in 2009. Following its conclusion in 2015, many of its cast members were involved in a string of controversies.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Discovery+ and ID have ordered a three-part docuseries which will explore the real story behind the show’s drama.
The untitled project will include first-hand accounts from key cast and crew members who worked on the series.