As we mark the 40th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fox is prepping a remake of the cult classic. The two-hour taped event special, which is in development with a cast-contingent order, is executive produced by Gail Berman of The Jackal Group; the 1975 movie’s producer Lou Adler; and Kenny Ortega, who is set to direct and choreograph. Fox 21 TV Studios is producing.
Tentatively titled The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event, the project is described as a reimagining of the campy horror feature, which continues to play in theaters around the world 40 years after its release – the longest theatrical distribution frame for any film in history.
The TV adaptation has done quite the Time Warp. It originally was set up at Fox in 2002, when Berman was the network’s entertainment president. Fox TV Studios, led by David Madden, was behind the special, which was aimed at a 2003 premiere to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1973 musical by Richard O’Brien that was the basis for the movie. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Event now is back at Fox, again shepherded by Berman and Madden, who have switched seats at the table: Madden is the network’s entertainment president and Berman is the producer.
“I’ve been a fan of Rocky Horror since I was a teenager,” Berman said at the time of the 2002 announcement. She has a theater background and started her career as a Broadway producer before segueing to television. Rocky Horror had remained a passion project for her, and she also set up a redo at MTV in 2008, also with FtvS and Madden, which didn’t make it to the screen.
Like has been the plan all along, the TV remake is expected to stick faithfully to the text and the score of the original but greatly reimagine the story visually.
Meanwhile, Rocky Horror has had presence on Fox over the past decade, with musical dramedy Glee doing a tribute episode, “The Rocky Horror Glee Show,” in Season 2.
This Is It and High School Musical helmer Ortega is repped by Paradigm and Barry Littman.