Justin Timberlake fans might just cry Ryan Murphy a river when they find out which Glee character the show creator had in mind for the pop star. In a revealing Monday (Oct. 31) appearance on a new podcast called And That’s What You REALLY Missed, the show’s creator dropped a bombshell on Gleeks everywhere: The character of choir director Will Schuester was originally written for JT, not Matthew Morrison.
“When we were writing the pilot — I’ve never really talked about this — that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake,” Murphy told the podcast’s hosts Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz, who starred on Glee as Artie Abrams and Tina Cohen-Chang, respectively. “Mr. Schue was written for Justin.”
That was all Murphy could divulge before the episode ended. However, more of McHale and Ushkowitz’s interview with the Emmy Award-winning screenwriter will be shared in a second episode next week.
The Timberlake tease wasn’t the only revelation Murphy shared before the episode wrapped, though. The American Horror Story creator also revealed that Glee was originally imagined as being much darker, and that Mr. Schue was first written as a drug addict.
The first ever script that would eventually become Glee was written by the show’s co-creator Ian Brennan, whose friend presented the script to Murphy at a gym. “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,'” Murphy shared with Ushkowitz and McHale, who brought up that Mr. Schue had also inappropriately touched his students in early imaginings of the show.
“Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian’s script,” Murphy added. “The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling.”
Listen Ryan Murphy talk about Justin Timberlake in the full episode of And That’s What You REALLY Missed below: