Laverne Cox will play Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
By Victoria Desselle
Let’s do the time warp again with Fox Television Studios as they produce a remake of the widely worshipped cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fox and the Jackal Group will release a “reimagining” of the beloved trans-empowered musical this fall, starring a whole new cast and featuring critically acclaimed directors and producers. The new production will be based on the original 1973 staged musical by Richard O’Brien, who starred as Riff Raff in the 1975 film adaptation.
Now let’s take a jump to the left! The film’s enormous following includes ecstatic fans from all walks of life who still appear at midnight screenings with live actors and choreographed dances. Regarded as the longest-running film in movie history, Rocky Horror is celebrating 40 years of continuous distribution with reported gross earnings just south of $140 million.
And then a step to the right! Fox has carefully hand-selected an all-star cast to play our favorite characters in fishnets, Halloween heels, theatrical makeup, and vibrant hair colors. Longtime RHPS patrons can rest assured that the Fox production will feature the beloved Tim Curry, but in a different role. Curry starred in the 1975 film as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the bone-chilling, gender-bending mad scientist whose obsession is to create the most perfect and beautiful human being. Despite Dr. Frank’s taste for murder, cannibalism, and eugenics, his lavishly sexy performance of “Sweet Transvestite”—complete with white pearls, fishnets, and black corsets—embodies every feature of punk and rock ’n’ roll, including tenaciously kinky lyrics.
In the new movie, Tim Curry will play the criminologist narrator that was originally played by Charles Gray. Emmy Award-nominee Laverne Cox is slated to play protagonist Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Cox is a highly regarded LGBT advocate, actress, and television producer; she is best known for her striking performances as Sophia in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, and is the first trans woman of color to play a lead role in mainstream television.
Stage performer, singer-songwriter, actor, and Grammy-nominee Adam Lambert will take on the role of Eddie, played by Meat Loaf in the original movie. Lambert gained fame after starring on American Idol in 2009, and has since released several hit singles and top Billboard albums. Lambert is most famously known for his stunning vocals, flawless dance moves, and his advocacy in the LGBT community.
The first Transylvanian we meet, Riff Raff, will be played by singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carney, who is best known for his performance as Peter Parker in Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The beautiful model and talented singer-songwriter Staz Nair will star as Rocky, the perfect human being created by Dr. Frank-N-Furter to replace Dr. Frank’s previous lover, Eddie. Rocky was originally played by Peter Hinwood in the 1975 film.
Victoria Justice and Ryan McCartan will star as Janet and Brad, originally played by Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. The young and talented Justice has appeared in several television series, such as Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101 and Victorious; McCartan stars as Diggie in Disney’s Liv and Maddie and Heathers: The Musical.
Lou Adler, the executive producer of Rocky’s film adaptation, will return to executive-produce the new production. Adler is an award-winning producer, director, talent manager, and singer-songwriter; he has won several Grammy Awards, earned himself a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Award-winning producer and director Gail Berman will join Adler in executive-producing the new film. Berman is a successful movie and Broadway producer, best known for her work at MTV Films, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and for several hit series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, American Idol, House, and Arrested Development. The talented Kenny Ortega will team up with Adler and Berman to co-produce as he heads the film’s choreography, music, and dance. Ortega has an impressive résumé of music productions, including the successful High School Musical trilogy, Hocus Pocus, Dirty Dancing, Madonna’s “Material Girl” video, and Michael Jackson’s This Is It film.
Filming for the new production began this past winter. In the meantime, catch a midnight weekend screening of the original movie at Houston’s River Oaks Theatre. See you in Transylvania!
Victoria Desselle is a native Houstonian, writer, and photographer. She enjoys exploring multiple facets of Houston; she also enjoys fusion tacos and her Harley-Davidson jacket.