It’s not entirely surprising that there has been a bit of an uproar about Laverne Cox taking up the mantle of Frank-N-Furter in the remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which will land on Halloween night on Fox as a two-hour event. This is one of those movies that makes people go rabid. Fans of the original 1975 film, which saw Tim Curry digging into the same role that Cox will now inhabit, are some of the most dedicated and, in many cases, the most self-righteous fans on this very planet. To change anything about their obsessive object is to put a dent in the legacy of a classic, one of the most popular midnight movies to ever be known, right up there with El Topo and Eraserhead.
Then again, from the look of things in the trailer for Fox’s remake, which you can take a look at below, the problem is not going to so much be Cox, a force of nature on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, but rather with the general tone and stylistic code of the new version. Clocking in at 30 seconds, the trailer does not give us a rounded-out view of what to expect but the decisions one can gleam from this short time are just a bit off. There’s a candy-coated feel to the whole things, which was certainly not what made the original immediately connect with outsiders of all shapes and sizes.
Fox is certainly under no obligation to simply replicate the original, the choice of this aesthetic suggests that the event is pitching itself in the realm of cute-horror, such as Scream Queens, at best or something like the 1975 original rejiggered as a Glee episode. And yes, I’m aware that Glee already did a Rocky Horror episode, and no, I wasn’t particularly happy to be reminded of that. Still, I hold out hope that the script might pick up the slack where the look of the thing has seemingly failed, and I can only imagine Cox will relish taking her own stab at Curry’s iconic role and making it her own, whether for better or for worse.
Here’s the trailer for the Rocky Horror Picture Show remake: