Earlier this month, Fox execs revealed that Glee would directly deal with Cory Monteith's death.
But creator Ryan Murphy has had a change of heart. In a new interview with Deadline, he reveals that while they planned to have Cory's character, Finn, die from an accidental drug overdose, they've decided to change it.
"Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe at all, how that character died. The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life,'" he shares. "That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."
Glee's Tribute Episode Will "Deal Directly" With Cory Monteith’s Death
In what will undoubtedly be one of the hardest episodes for the cast to film, Ryan has revealed that they will begin shooting the tribute piece this week.
"We're just now finishing it, and at the end of the week we'll send it to [the studio 20th Century Fox Television] to get their approvals," he says. "But I think it turned out to be a lovely tribute, and it's a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve."
And it certainly hasn't been an easy process. Ryan admits, "After that, we're going to take two weeks or three weeks down to get our heads together because it's been a really hard thing to write. We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around. We're trying to craft an episode that's not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving."
The fifth season, which airs Sept. 29, kicks off with two Beatles episodes before the show takes on Finn's death.
Lea Michele Shares Bittersweet Picture from Glee Set
"The cast and crew have had solace in being together. They've been holed up doing those Beatles numbers," Ryan shares. "There's been tears on set. It's been hard for a lot of people. But the really difficult thing is coming."
On Sunday, Cory's girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele took the stage at the Teen Choice Awards to dedicate her win to the late actor.
"Not that I had any doubt before, but you guys are most certainly the greatest fans in the world and I wanted to dedicate this award to Cory,” she said. “For all of you out there who loved and admired Cory as much as I did, I promise that with your love we’re going to get through this together. He was very special to me and also to the world. We were very lucky to witness his incredible talent, his handsome smile, and his beautiful beautiful heart. So whether you knew him personally or just as Finn Hudson, Cory reached out and he became a part of all of our hearts and that’s where he will stay forever. So thank you guys so much. Thank you.”
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