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Fox is Remaking The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a Made-for-TV Movie. That’s Probably a Bad Idea.  

There can only be one.

Photo by John Jay - © 1978 John Jay - Image courtesy

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of campy cult phenomenon The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fox is remaking the film as a two-hour TV adaptation. It’s in the process of being cast, and Kenneth Ortega (High School Musical, Gilmore Girls, Hocus Pocus) will direct, executive-produce, and choreograph, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The special will be filmed in advance and not air live, but few details beyond that are known,” The Hollywood Reporter writes. “In addition to Ortega, Gail Berman and Lou Adler, who produced the original film, are also attached as executive producers.”

Now all I can say is, “Dammit, Janet!” At the risk of sounding like the grumpy purist I am, I’m not convinced that a TV adaptation of this movie is a good idea. Adaptations and sequels to the original theatrical version of Rocky Horror are one thing, since they often manage to feel like a riff on the original rather than a re-creation of it—but there’s nothing particularly novel or elaborative about turning a movie into a movie-length TV special.* It mostly feels redundant to take a movie this agelessly weird and attempt to update it, especially when there is not really anything in the film that has been rendered “obsolete.” The original Rocky Horror succeeds on its particular blend of camp and chemistry, its lightning-in-a-bottle energy. I’m also pretty sure that no actor could ever match Tim Curry’s gams game. Here’s hoping that Fox proves me wrong. 

Correction, April 12, 2015This post previously misstated that The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally a film. It was originally a theatrical production called The Rocky Horror Show.