This 'Glee' Character Was Originally Written For Justin Timberlake

By Rebekah Gonzalez

October 31, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Glee could have been a very different show. On the first episode of the new iHeartRadio podcast And That's What You REALLY Missed with the show's former stars Kevin McHale (Artie Abrams) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang), creator Ryan Murphy detailed his early vision for Glee. During the interview, Murphy revealed that the show's main character, Mr. William "Shue" Schuester, was actually written with Justin Timberlake in mind.

"When we were writing the pilot, I've never really talked about this, that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake. Mr. Schue was written for Justin," he said. The episode ended there but part two will air next week and will include more details about Timberlake's ties to the show.

Elsewhere in the episode, Murphy revealed the original script that was written by his co-creator Ian Brennan was much heavier and darker compared to the final product. "Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian's script," he said. "The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling."

However, Murphy asked Brennan to rework the script since he wanted the show to be light-hearted. "I just need something optimistic," he explained.

Justin Timberlake
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