Glee Creator Ryan Murphy Reveals Mr. Schuester Was Originally a “Meth Addict”

On Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale's podcast, Glee creator Ryan Murphy revealed new show secrets, like how Justin Timberlake was supposed to play Mr. Shue.

By Charlotte Walsh Oct 31, 2022 5:57 PMTags
Watch: Glee's Mr. Schuester Was Originally a "Meth Addict"

Originally, Glee wasn't so, well, gleeful. 

In fact, in the original script creator Ryan Murphy received from writer Ian Brennan, Matthew Morrison's soulful teach Will Schuester (a.k.a Mr. Schue) was hardly the best role model.

After receiving the pilot from a friend of writer Ian Brennan, Murphy explained how he was interested in turning it into a show—but wanted to turn it into something a little more lighthearted. 

"Mr. Schue, I believe," he said on Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale's new podcast And That's What You REALLY Missed, "Was a crystal meth addict in Ian's script."

McHale asked Murphy if the teacher was also "touching the children" in the original pilot, to which Murphy responded with a resounding "yes," summing it up as "the NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling."

"As soon as I read it, I was like, 'Okay, well this is it,' because what I loved was the idea of kids in high school," Murphy said. "I just need to do something optimistic."

20 Shocking Glee Secrets Revealed

So Murphy and Brennan worked together to overhaul the pilot, turning it into the first episode of Glee that premiered in 2009. But still, the latest version of the Glee club's fearless leader looked a little different than he would onscreen. 

"That pilot was written for Justin Timberlake," Murphy revealed. "Mr. Schue was written for Justin."

Unfortunately, the episode ends after that massive reveal. But hopefully, we'll get more details on this potential casting, as part two of McHale and Ushkowitz's interview with Murphy premieres Nov. 7. 

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