Ryan Murphy Talks Monteith’s Death, Gives Lea Michele Full Control Of “Glee” Tribute

rs_560x415-130714145731-1024.CoryMonteith.GleeGallery2.7.14.13.JMD_copyIn the week since the tragic death of Glee actor Cory Monteith, director Ryan Murphy has come forward with his first public interviews since, telling E! that he wanted Monteith’s longtime girlfriend (and rumored fiancee) Lea Michele to take the lead in deciding how to address the issue both publicly and on the show.

Ultimately, the decision to return to work one week after Monteith’s death was made collectively by the cast and crew, who decided the best way to handle their grief was to mourn together. Although Murphy admits that he entered discussions with Fox to shut down the show for good, he told Deadline that the show will return this fall—one week later than its scheduled premiere date—with a special tribute episode for the third episode followed by a long hiatus:

“We will begin shooting in late August the two shows we had already written, so that people can physically go back to work. We will then do an episode that will deal with the death of Finn’s character and follow that with a long hiatus. I don’t know exactly when we will come back, and we are trying our best with this attempt at damage control. We are planning a memorial for the cast and crew sometime this week on the Paramount lot.”

Murphy also addressed the show’s prime demographic, and plans to be sensitive in addressing the star’s death for a younger fan base:

“For many of the people we work with who are very young, and also for the fans of the show, this is probably the first time they have experienced death, and that was not lost on any of us here. I understand that everyone has their own way of processing grief. Every possible option was explored, and what we did was look to the people who loved Cory, who worked with him most, and specifically Lea. This is what they wanted to do.”

Both Murphy and the Fox Network are reportedly trusting Michele with almost exclusive control over the direction of the show and Finn’s storyline. “Lea has been a leader all through this difficult process,” he said. “She is the strongest 26-year-old I know.”

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  • Snapper59

    Why not explain how he died by telling how he died.

  • ShowMeGuy

    @Snapper59: I’m sure they will….but there is a very large *how do we do this* pink elephant standing in the room.

  • Orean

    The article is wrong. The interview with Ryan Murphy CLEARLY states that the third episode of the season will be the Cory tribute followed by one more episode and a hiatus. There is simply not time to get the tribute ready even with the premiere pushed back one week. Please correct this.

  • unclemike

    @Orean: ““We will begin shooting in late August the two shows we had already written, so that people can physically go back to work. We will then do an episode that will deal with the death of Finn’s character and follow that with a long hiatus.”

    I’m pretty sure that translates into 2 shows, then the tribute, then a hiatus. Can you quote where Murphy states otherwise? I think Queerty got this one right.

  • balehead

    If Ryan Murphy knew something was wrong..why didn’t he address it?….typical after the fact response….unoriginal …just like the show these days…..

  • Ron Jackson

    Ugh, I imagine the show will be a smarmy syrup laden series of flashbacks that will try to make us all cry. I don’t mean to be insensitive but I will pass on that show. He’s gone. Let it go.

  • Dixie Rect

    I never watched this show, but art should imitate life. Have this character be a closet drug addict and have him overdose. I bet they kill him off in some other way, like by a drunk driver or texting while driving car accident and turn it into a ‘teachable moment’.

  • chris451

    Finn Hudson is a fictional character. Cory Monteith was a real person. Why in the world would Finn’s death have to reflect Cory’s? If they are doing a tribute to Cory, that is the time to address the cause of his death, not by imposing Cory’s real life story on this fictional character.

  • balehead

    They should just recast…..don’t lose your shizz on that one…

  • QJ201

    Death by Frat hazing. After all Finn was last seen throwing parties in his college dorm.

  • QuintoLover

    @balehead: If they recasted, they would get DESTROYED by the fans.

  • hephaestion

    I think it’s wonderful that Ryan Murphy is giving Lea Michelle control over how Monteith’s death is dealt with on the show.

    Death happens to us all. None of us escape it. It’s very sad that it happened to Cory Monteith at such a young age. It makes you wonder what could have been…

  • Stenar

    They don’t need to shut the show down or go on hiatus. Just because he was too stupid to live doesn’t mean glee fans should be punished.

  • petensfo

    @balehead: Actually, Ryan Murphy had been instrumental in getting the actor back to rehab.

    I find the show tedious, but I think their desire to do right by their friend, in the midst of tremendous audience pressure, is genuine.

  • Snapper59

    Jesus, is anybody who watches this show over 10 years old? I’m no fan of it but I suppose any body who is, no matter what age they are, knows the actor who played the character died of a heroin overdose.

  • Bruno

    I think if Glee can get as serious as school shootings, they can deal with having an episode about drug abuse. I’m sure Lea will make the right decision to as sensitive and real with an issue like this. I have been a fan of the show since its beginning and a “Finchel” fan as well. I truly sad about this, and my heart goes out to Lea and all his loved ones.

  • elbertdijkgraaf

    This reminds me of the episode from Suddenly Susan, where they all had to deal with the death of David Strickland. Suddenly Susan wasn’t really my cup of tea (just like Glee to be honest), but this particular episode really was moving and beautifully written.

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