Ever since FOX announced their intention to remake The Rocky Horror Picture Show in October 2015 with Laverne Cox (Orange‘s Sophia Burset) portraying Dr. Frank-n-Furter, fans of the musical and LGBT advocates have voiced a variety of praise and criticism.
Dr. Frank-n-Further (portrayed by Tim Curry in 1975) is a cross-dressing cisgender man who takes it upon himself to create a being that exists to fulfill his sexual desires. Transgender rights activists see Cox’s decision to take this role as conflicting with the public’s understanding of the transgender identity, for being a transgender woman, as Cox is, and a cisgender cross-dressing man are two entirely separate identities, which may confuse current perceptions and understandings of the transgender community.
Cox was well aware upon accepting the role of Dr. Frank-n-Further that she would face criticism, mainly because of Tim Curry’s iconic performance. Many fans disagree with FOX’s decision to retell Rocky Horror from a contemporary standpoint because the movie and stage show is the longest-running movie in theater history and in movie history. Moreover, this is Cox’s first ever singing role, yet she remains dauntless:
“I gave 250 percent, and I hope people like what we came up with.”
On the other hand, Cox has been met with great enthusiasm as well and from none other than Sal Piro, the President of the Rocky Horror Picture Show fan club of the movie and stage show, which was founded in 1977. Piro said that she is absolutely “perfect” for this role. Many other long-time fans of the musical are onboard with the remake. Tim Curry has even given his blessing to Cox.
FOX’s Rocky Horror Picture Show will also star Christina Milian, Adam Lambert, and Tim Curry. The two-hour special is rumored to air on Halloween 2016, but it will definitely air sometime this fall. Watch the preview below.