The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been synonymous with Halloween, and, a little over 40 years since the release of the original movie, FOX have chosen the spooky season to release its Rocky Horror remake. Fully titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event, the remake of the cult classic stars Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox in the central role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, with Ryan McCartan (Liv and Maddie) as Brad Majors, Victoria Justice (Victorious) as his fiancee, Janet Weiss, Adam Lambert as Eddie, and Reeve Carney (Penny Dreadful) as Riff Raff. There will also be a special guest appearance from Tim Curry, the original creator of the Frank-N-Furter role, as the narrator.
This remake has been greeted with a lukewarm reception at best; fans of Rocky Horror tend to be passionate in their love for the movie and stage show, and it’s largely viewed as something that’s not to be messed with, so FOX has an uphill battle to promote this show. Having already made a start with previously released images, the network have now alighted on San Diego Comic-Con where it will host a Rocky Horror panel over the weekend. To get everyone in the mood, and to generate interest in the event, FOX has also released the first trailer for the Rocky Horror Picture Show Event, which can be viewed below.
This trailer gives our first look at McCartan, Justice, and Carney, the latter of which looks most at home in his role. Justice doesn’t seem quite the fit as Janet, but McCartan cuts a fitting all-American figure as Brad. However, the focus is really on Cox, whom certainly seems to be making the role of Frank her own. Rocky Horror will mark the actress’ musical debut, but sadly the trailer doesn’t showcase her vocal talents (or lack thereof – time will tell in that regard).
What it does do, however, is highlight that this is actually a very different production to the original Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that can only be a good thing. Director Kenny Ortega, along with original Richard O’Brien and Jim Sharman who have collaborated on the screenplay for this 2016 version, seem to have tapped into the cult status this movie enjoys; in particular the participatory nature of the film when it’s shown in theaters, as is often the case on Halloween.
An audience is included on screen, seemingly to encourage the at-home audience to participate in the heckling that makes Rocky Horror such an enjoyable event, rather than just another movie showing. Of course, audience members are in full costume, and ready with a string of call-outs, slurs, and props as required. From the looks of things, it also appears that Ortega has possibly broken the fourth wall, in a way, by having the end ‘Floor Show’ performed in front of the audience, with the characters of Brad, Janet, Columbia and Dr. Scott, possibly aware that they are present.
Will this trailer, and the Comic-Con presence be enough to win die-hard Rocky fans over? Well…probably not, to be honest. But, that said, this trailer does look impressive and there’s the potential to see some vocals from Cox and possibly Lambert over the weekend, which might well sway some people. Also, the fact that this Rocky Horror remake comes not only with O’Brien and Curry’s blessing but also their active involvement, can only be a good thing.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event will air on FOX this Halloween.