Laverne Cox will star in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, playing the lead role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. In the show, the transgender actress best known for Orange Is the New Black will be playing a “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania,” as the song that introduces the character goes. Tim Curry originated the role when the show was The Rocky Horror Show, a theatrical production in London, in the early Seventies.
The actress announced the news via Instagram. “I am so honored to be a part of the Rocky Horror legacy,” she wrote. She also included the hashtags #DontDreamItBeIt, which references another song in the production, and #TransIsBeautiful.
Earlier this year, Lou Adler – who produced the original Rocky Horror movie in 1975 – told Rolling Stone he was on the fence about going forward with a remake with Fox. “I don’t want to do it if it’s not going to live up to the way people embraced the movie over the past 40 years,” he said. “We’re not casting an original script; in a way, we’re casting ‘Tim Curry.’ So if somebody is compared to Tim, they’re going to lose.”
The Fox version of the movie will run as a two-hour television special next fall, according to The New York Times. Adler is executive-producing and High School Musical’s Kenny Ortega will produce, direct and choreograph the show.
Earlier this year, a 40th anniversary edition of the movie came out, as did a version of its soundtrack on vinyl. It included a version of the song “Sword of Damocles” that had previously never been available on a Rocky Horror soundtrack – the version in the actual film. “Peter Hinwood, who played Rocky, did not sing, so we dubbed him,” Adler told Rolling Stone. “It turns out that there was a version of the song that was recorded by someone from the chorus. They were playing that version in his ear for him to mimic to. And that was the soundtrack; we’ve been putting it on soundtracks for 40 years.”