I'll admit that I'm going into this pretty biased. I made Rocky Horror my entire life in college when I played "Columbia" in a shadow cast, and like many others from the RHPS community, the news was met with mixed feelings—mostly bad ones.
According to EW.com, the 2-hour TV musical, titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event, will be a modern reimagining of the 1975 film, which has formed a life of its own in theaters around the world, with shadow casts acting out scenes in front of the screen while the audience shouts callbacks.
Though not the first presence of Rocky Horror on FOX—Glee did a tribute episode in Season 2, titled "The Rocky Horror Glee Show"—the remake is expected to stick to the original 1973 play written by Richard O'Brien and will be directed, produced, and choreographed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical). Lou Adler, the original film producer, is also on board alongside executive producer Gail Berman who has been working on bringing a remake to television since 2002.
Now as much as I get excited for anything Rocky Horror—and that included the 21-piece Mac Cosmetics line released last year—I'm not convinced this is a good idea. Firstly, while no cast has been set yet, no one can replace Tim Curry. Those are some really big platform heels to fill and not all that sparkles, shines. Secondly, the progressive trend toward remakes has become tiresome and dry, and rarely are any of them as good. Rocky Horror has stood the test of time, making it the longest-running theatrical distribution in film history. To redo it to make it more modern for television just seems redundant. There are also levels of transgressive themes that could very well be refined for television, and c'mon…it's FOX.
Also, unlike the televised adaptation of Peter Pan on NBC, the event will not be broadcast live—a missed opportunity for live-tweeting that could easily take form of the audience participation found at shadow cast performances around the world, a phenomenon that has developed into as much part of the show experience as the film itself and is majorly responsible for the film's success.
On the other hand, it will expose the cult classic to a new audience, potentially encouraging more fans to watch the original and see a live show, growing both the audience and the RHPS community. Whether it flops or surprisingly turns out really good, the best way to look at this is the added attention to Frank-n-Furter and the the denizens of Transexual, Transylvania. We're all just really looking to give ourselves over to absolute pleasure, anyway.
What do you think about Rocky Horror being remade for television? Who would you cast as Frank-n-Furter, Brad, Janet, Riff Raff, Magenta, and Columbia? Let us know in the comments below!