Actress Laverne Cox will reportedly play one of the lead roles in Fox’s upcoming TV remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“Orange Is the New Black” actress Cox will take on the role of Frank-N-Furter, a role played by actor Tim Curry in the 1975 film. The movie version also stars Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, and Richard O’Brien. O’Brien also wrote and composed the show.
Cox was nominated for an Emmy Award for best guest actress in a comedy series for her work on “Orange," the first transgender actress to receive the honor. She has also appeared on the show “The Mindy Project,” which was formerly on Fox before transferring to Hulu, and the Bravo TV show “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” as well as other work.
The news of “Rocky” casting arrives as TV musicals are currently a popular idea. NBC hit it big with its 2013 production “The Sound of Music Live!,” which starred Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer as well as seasoned Broadway veterans like Christian Borle, Laura Benanti, and Audra McDonald. The network got huge ratings from “Music” and NBC’s 2014 production “Peter Pan Live!” still did well in the ratings, though it didn’t perform as well as “Music.” The network is planning “The Wiz Live!” for later this year.
Fox has already put one live musical on its schedule with this January’s “Grease: Live,” which will star Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit. Kenny Ortega, who directed such Disney musicals as “Newsies” and the “High School Musical” series as well as the recent “Descendants,” is set to direct “Rocky.”
With its themes of sexuality, “Rocky” continues to be a part of the national conversation about gay and transgender issues. Sarandon said in an interview that she feels the movie and screenings of it have “given a home to so many people, especially those who need to be accepted for who they are.”
Fox’s production of the show is set to air next fall.