Ever since the tragic announcement of the death of Glee star Cory Monteith last week, fans have been waiting to hear what will happen to the show in Season 5. On Friday it was announced that the season premiere will now be September 26, which is a delay of one week. Now show creator Ryan Murphy has broken his silence on Cory and explains how the show will continue.
Speaking to TVLine, the writer and director explained that there was the option to delay the filming to either November or even January however the ultimate decision was made to open the season with scripts which were already written. Episode 1 and 2 will be the long awaited Beatles tribute episodes which have been written since May. The producers ultimately felt it was best to get the cast back on set and working, where they will have access to grief counsellors.
Murphy is also keen to say that no decisions were made without him and Brad Falchuk talking to Lea Michele. The actress who is still coming to terms with the death of her boyfriend was keen for everyone to come together sooner rather than later. She felt that because Cory was so loved people needed to be together and also to ensure that mortgages were paid and families were looked after.
Ryan was keen to let fans know that Lea will be returning with the rest of the cast when shooting begins in August, as the cast and crew are her family and she needs to be near them. Murphy also said that this is such uncharted territory for everyone concerned, and that Finn’s absence will not be mentioned in the first two episodes. He explained that the show writers are already starting the tortuous process of writing Episode 3 where Finn’s death will be dealt with. Regarding the tone of the hardest episode ever, Murphy said “it has to be done very carefully and with a lot of taste and really making sure that it’s a tribute to Cory.” Following this episode the show will be going on the planned hiatus, where the writers will be reconfiguring the season and ensuring everyone is ok. Ryan also said that there is the intention to set up scholarships to honor the memory of Cory. He said “It’s just a crazy, really difficult, very emotional time. I think what we’re really trying to do is deal with it as a family, which is what that group of people is. Lea is obviously very grief-stricken but she’s also one of the strongest people I know. She wants people to be better and get back to work. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
Regarding the tribute episode Murphy and the writers are currently unsure what shape it will take, as it is still so soon after Cory’s passing. He also said that everyone in Fox from CEO Rupert Murdoch himself right down has been involved in the process of making sure the best decision is made for all involved in the show.
Ryan said that Lea is obviously grief stricken has been a rock for everyone in the last week and Murphy is full of admiration for her. Murphy said “She’s also been a rock for many people as well. I’ve never, ever met a 26-year-old girl or boy who’s capable of doing what she’s done in the past week. I marvel at it. I really have taken – as we all have – our lead from Lea. We won’t do anything that she doesn’t want to do. We’re planning a memorial service this week for the cast and crew and people at Fox, everybody who loved him. She’s been planning that and making decisions.”
On the obvious topic of Cory and his struggle with addiction, he said that the Glee family had been dealing with the effects of Cory’s addiction for a number of months and that they rallied around the star. He also said that Lea was instrumental in the intervention which resulted in Cory seeking help in rehab.
Murphy explained that Monteith had the full support of the show he said Cory was told “Look. Don’t worry about your job; you will always have a job. Don’t worry about fear. Don’t worry about shame. Just worry about getting better and getting stronger…” He was like a son to me… He was both very loving and very sweet and also very stubborn. I really expected him to fight me. He wanted to finish those last two episodes of [Season 4], and that’s when we found out about the addiction flaring up again and I said, “F–k no. We’re writing you out of these episodes. Your life is more important than any stupid TV show. You’re not going to film. You’re going to get in a car right now and get help that I and Brad and Lea have arranged.” I thought he was going to fight me. He said, instead, “OK, I’m so glad it’s over.” He embraced it and went without a fight and got in a car and went to rehab.”
When asked about a memory that summed Cory up he said “The first time I saw Cory was on a videotape where he was playing Tupperware drums. But he was in the first scene of the first shot when I directed the Glee pilot. It was a scene with Mr. Schue and Finn where they were in Mr. Schue’s office and Mr. Schue was framing him. It was a very strange pilot and it was a musical, which nobody had really done successfully. So people were nervous, I was nervous about it. And I remember after his first take, he came up to me and said, “This is gonna be fun.”
And fun it was for everyone.
Glee will return to FOX on September 26.