Laverne Cox will star in Fox’s remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.”
“I am so excited that the news is out. I am so honored to be a part of the Rocky Horror legacy,” Cox said via Instagram. “#DontDreamItBeIt #TransIsBeautiful.”
A remake of the movie had been in talks since 2002. Lou Adler, who produced the original in 1975, told Rolling Stone that he wasn’t sure of a remake.
“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.”
Casting Cox has already been both widely praised and widely criticized.
According to The Advocate, some worry that “casting a transgender woman in the role of a man who dresses in women’s clothing for a sexual thrill” could cause issues within the pure Rocky Horror followers as well as trans activists.
However, this could also be a response to “transface” – a term that The Advocate says “conjures the culturally taboo practice of ‘blackface’ in which a cisgender actor will ‘take’ the role from a transgender actor.”
Kenny Ortega will direct the two-hour television special that is set to premiere next fall.
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