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Glee writer Ryan Murphy says Mr Schue was originally supposed to be a meth addict
Featured Image Credit: Fox

Glee writer Ryan Murphy says Mr Schue was originally supposed to be a meth addict

We'll never be able to look at Mr Schue the same way again.

Just when you think you know everything about Mr. Schuester, Ryan Murphy throws Glee fans another curveball.

The beloved teacher, who was played by Matthew Morrison in the hit musical drama set in the fictional McKinley High School, was originally envisioned as a meth addict.

Yes, the loveable Glee club leader with his penchant for impromptu dance numbers and checkered shirts was meant to have a very dark backstory.

Murphy, who loves a complicated and complex character, appeared on the first episode of the podcast And That’s What You REALLY Missed, which is hosted by Glee actors Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz - otherwise known as Artie and Tina.

It all started when Murphy was in the gym at a time when he was trying to come up with an idea for a musical TV show to be shown on Fox.

As if by fate, he was handed a script written by Ian Brennan who had written a draft of the pilot script for Glee. This version, however, was a lot edgier, and considering the fact the show even tackled school shootings, we can’t help but wonder how 'out there' it was.

Murphy recounted: “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.’”

Brennan’s version was considered too dark for network television and Murphy - who was working on his hit plastic surgery-themed psychological thriller Nip/Tuck at the time - was looking for something ‘optimistic’.

Matthew Morrison played Mr Schue in Glee.

He added: “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 and Brennan worked on and co-created what would become the Glee we all know and love, with show lasting for six seasons between 2009 and 2015.

But the surprises didn’t end there - a certain ex-boyband member known for his curly platinum blonde ‘90s hairdo was the inspiration for Mr. Schue.

Ryan Murphy said Mr Schue was originally meant to be a meth addict.
Newscom / Alamy Stock Photo.

“When we were writing the pilot, I’ve never really talked about this, that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake,” Murphy confessed. “Mr Schue was written for Justin.”

Glee became a worldwide phenomenon and Murphy went on to co-create American Horror Story in 2011, produce American Crime Story since 2016, while also creating recent hits like The Watcher and Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Glee’s legacy will be the focus of an upcoming Discovery+ and ID documentary series, which will unveil the real story behind the show’s drama.

Key cast and crew members who worked on Glee will contribute to the three-part exposé.

Topics: Film and TV