Following weeks of back-and-forth regarding the impending graduation of “Glee” stars Chris Colfer, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, showrunner Ryan Murphy has spoken out in an attempt to clear up rumors regarding the young stars’ future on the FOX show.
In an interview with Deadline on Thursday, Murphy stated that the reason he initially revealed the trio would not return for the show’s fourth season was because producers were already investigating spin-offs – not because they were “fired.”
“In March, [’ Glee’co-creator] Brad Falchuk and I started talking to all three of those actors about it because you can’t make people do spin-offs,” Murphy told Deadline. “So, we went to them and asked, ‘What do you think about this? Are you interested? If you are interested, what would you want your character to do? Where do you think we should shoot it?’
“So, it was a discussion with all three of those actors about it,” he continued. “At the time, all three of them expressed interest.”
Murphy also expressed frustration with Chris Colfer’s claim to Access Hollywood that he learned of his character’s impending exit via Twitter, as Murphy claims Colfer — along with Monteith and Michele – were already keenly aware of the spin-off, as they had been “involved” in the process for “3 to 4 months.”
“So, for any of those actors to say, ‘I found out that I was fired off the show from Twitter,’ is absolutely 100 percent not true,” Murphy said. “None of them were fired. It was never about that. We were going to do a spin-off where the three of them were going to go on.”
As for how reports of a surprise firing became so widely circulated, Murphy blamed “some of those actors’ representatives,” who he said “spun” the story.
“We weren’t allowed to talk about a spin-off. It was too premature… The idea was to do it this fall when ‘Glee’ gets back on the air,” he said. “Then, to pick up and read the actors saying, ‘We found out we were fired from Twitter.’ All of us — the studio, the network — were like, ‘OK, that isn’t exactly cool,’ because we involved all three of them in that decision.”
Consequently, Murphy said he and his team have shelved any plans for a spin-off for the time being.
“We decided, ‘OK, let’s not do it,’” he told Deadline. “So that’s where we are today. Maybe we’ll talk about it in April or May, but for now let’s just concentrate on making Season 3 the best that we can do.
“We were actively talking to actors, we were actively writing, we were actively getting ready to pitch,” he later added. “Now that that has collapsed. We’re not talking about it, we’re not pitching.”
If Murphy has learned anything from the “are they fired?/are they hired?” firestorm, it’s to keep his mouth shut.
“I’ve learned a lesson from this experience. I’ve learned to really, really monitor what I say,” he said. “Before, I didn’t do that. My bad. Stupid.”