Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy is speaking out for the first time since the death of series cast member and breakout star Cory Monteith.
The Canadian-born Monteith, who struggled with substance abuse issues for years, died of a drug overdose in a Toronto hotel room last week. Murphy has revealed that the series will soon begin production on a tribute episode that will deal with the death of Finn Hudson, the jock-turned-Glee Cluber Cory played on the musical-comedy. Ryan said the show will then go on a long hiatus.
Murphy will join fellow co-creators Brad Falchuck and Ian Brennan in penning the special episode, with input from Lea Michele — Cory’s on-screen and off-screen girlfriend. The show runner told The Hollywood Reporter Saturday:
“…We are planning a memorial for the cast and crew sometime this week on the Paramount lot…The right thing to do for the show, at least at this point, is to have that character pass. When we do the tribute episode to that character, we’ll have to do it in a way where the castmembers will not have to re-create feelings of grief that they’ve had this week – but do it in an upbeat way.”
Glee will return for its fifth season on Sept. 26, one week later than originally planned. Devoted Gleeks argued that the series was returning to TV too soon in the wake of Monteith’s death. But Murphy argues that it was the right decision.
“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.”