Fans of the acclaimed musical Rocky Horror Picture Show should gear up for a new way to enjoy the musical that has been a cult classic since its debut in 1975. Just in time for the musical’s 40th anniversary it has been announced that Fox 21 Television Studios and The Jackal Group will be providing the musical with a new a two-hour television adaptation, produced and choreographed by Kenny Ortega. The project has received a working title of The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event, but thus far no casting decisions have been revealed. Currently the project does not have a release date scheduled.
For the production, Ortega will be working with Gail Berman and Lou Adler, both of whom were responsible for the original film’s production. The project will be filmed in advance instead of being broadcast live as some adaptations have been in recent years. Although previous efforts to give Rock Horror Picture Show a television production have failed in the past, the show remains a fan favorite and has been recognized frequently by Fox Studios. Fox had revealed plans for a similar event for the show’s 30th anniversary, but the plans had fallen through at the last moment. That did not stop Fox’s musically driven Glee from honoring the musical with a dedicated episode in 2010.
The origianl Rocky Horror Picture Show film was released as a film in 1975 and was based on a musical stage production that had debuted onstage in 1973. Shot in the United Kingdom, the video received average reviews at first but rapidly grew in popularity. The film grew in popularity as theaters began encouraging audience members to become involved in the film as it progressed. Since it’s release, the brand has grossed more than $112 million.
Kenny Ortega has worked as a choreographer, producer, and director on a variety of projects. In the 1980s he was involved as a choreographer for Pretty in Pink and Dirty Dancing, and he went on to direct cult classics such as Hocus Pocus in 1993. Ortega has worked on several televised musical productions, most famously the High School Musical series for the Disney Channel. Released in 2006, the first made for television movie was well received and led to the creation of two additional films. Ortega has also directed Michael Jackson’s Michael Jackson’s This Is It tour video and Miley Cyrus’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cryus: Best of Both Worlds Concert. His work has been generally well received, and he has received a series of accolades for his projects.
Fox is keeping busy with their silver screen musical adaptations. Following the success of several live musicals on NBC (most recently 2014’s Peter Pan), Fox has announced that they will be broadcasting a live adaptation of Grease in 2016. The production will be starring Julianne Hough at the role of the eternal good girl Sandy Olsson and Vanessa Hudgens as the big mouthed Pink Lady Rizzo. Hudgens’s first major role as an actress was on Disney’s High School Musical. Since then she has participated in a Hollywood Bowl performance of Rent and is currently making her Broadway debut as the starring role in Gigi.
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