‘Glee’ Co-Creator Ryan Murphy Discusses Cory Monteith Tribute Episode
The FOX series has planned a farewell that’s both a “lovely tribute” and a celebration of life, ‘Glee’ co-creator Ryan Murphy tells Deadline. “It’s a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve,” he says.
The 31-year-old Monteith died July 13 of a drug and alcohol overdose, shocking family, friends and fans, as well as sending his show’s production into a tailspin. Producers decided to write out the character of Finn in the third episode of the upcoming season, paying tribute in the process.
Contrary to previous reports, the episode will not address the topic of addiction, Murphy says. In fact, the cause of Finn’s death might not be in the script at all, he adds.
“Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died,” Murphy says. “The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, ‘This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.'”
“That might be weird for some people,” Murphy adds, “but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way.”
The script is awaiting finishing touches and final approval as cast and crew gear up for filming in the coming days. It will be a very difficult time for everyone involved, Murphy acknowledges. “There’s been tears on set,” he says. “It’s been hard for a lot of people. But the really difficult thing is coming.”
The ‘Glee’ cast and crew will take some time off after filming the episode, to recover from the intense emotions. “We’re going to take two weeks or three weeks down to get our heads together because it’s been a really hard thing to write,” Murphy says. “We loved Cory and we loved Finn, and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around.”