“When you’re faced with something so sad and so shocking, what do you do? Do we cancel the show? Do we start shooting in January? What do we do?” Murphy said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Ultimately, we decided the best thing for everyone is to get back to work and be around people who knew him and loved him so that everyone can grieve together.”
Monteith, the 31-year-old actor who played Finn Hudson on the show, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on July 13th. A coronor’s report concluded that he died from a toxic combinaton of heroin and alcohol.
Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter that although plot details have not yet been decided, the show will not be recasting another actor in the role. “The right thing to do for the show, at least at this point, is to have that character pass,” Murphy said.
The first two episodes of the fifth season, which involve a Beatles tribute, had already been written. Murphy said that after filming those episodes, the show will take a long hiatus to determine its next steps. The show plans to pay tribute to Monteith’s character in the third episode, after the memorial for the actor has taken place.
“When we do the tribute episode to that character, we’ll have to do it in a way where the castmembers will not have to re-create feelings of grief that they’ve had this week – but do it in an upbeat way,” he said. “If we can do this responsibly and help young people through these feelings, that’s the best that we can hope for.”
Fox announced on Friday that in the wake of Monteith’s death, the premiere of the fifth season has been moved from September 19th to September 26th. Production on the new season has been delayed until early August.