Reports of a mass exodus at the end of Glee‘s upcoming third season have apparently been greatly exaggerated.
On Sunday morning, Glee co-creator and exec producer Brad Falchuk told the standing room-only crowd attending the Fox megahit’s San Diego Comic-Con panel that Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith are not being let go from the show upon their characters’ May 2012 “graduation” and may very well be back for Season 4 — if not beyond.
“Here’s the exact thing: [Rachel, Kurt and Finn] are seniors, so they’re graduating,” Falchuk explained, “but because they’re graduating doesn’t mean they’re leaving the show. If you have Lea Michele under contract, you don’t say, ‘We’re gonna let you go.’” Plus, the EP pointed out, “A number of the original [cast members’ characters] are not graduating this year.”
Falchuk reiterated, “It was never our plan or our intention to let them go…. They are not done with the show after this season.”
The other, less positive piece of news coming out of the session — which was moderated by TVLine Editor-in-Chief Michael Ausiello — is that Chord Overstreet will not be back this fall — at all. According to Falchuk, Overstreet was offered a deal to return for 10 episodes with an eye towards becoming a series regular at midseason, but the 22-year-old actor declined.
Falchuck explained that Harry Shum Jr. (aka Mike) and Darren Criss (Blaine) successfully parlayed guest-starring turns into full-time promotions, and hoped to accomplish same for Overstreet. To that end, he said, “We did invite [Chord] back for a portion of the season … to see if being a regular was a possibility. But he declined the offer, which we were really disappointed by.”
Added Falchuk, “We wanted him back because we like Chord personally and had some good stories planned for him and with Mercedes. He decided he would have opportunities elsewhere that he would like to pursue, and we can’t force him to work, so we wished him well.”
Brace yourselves, Gleeks.
Glee exec producer Ryan Murphy just told to The Hollywood Reporter that not only will Rachel, Finn and Kurt graduate from McKinley High at the end of the upcoming third season, but all three of their portrayers — Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer — are “not going to be back at all for Season 4.”
That’s right, kids. He said At. All.
“You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic,” he added, “or you can be really true to life and say when they started the show they were very clearly sophomores and they should graduate at the end of their senior year.
“We’ve never done anything by the book,” Murphy continued. “We made that decision and I involved Chris and Lea and they thought that was a good idea. They both trust the writing and trust me and felt that it would be great to have an open and closed experience for them to go out while they were on top.”
Murphy goes on to acknowledge that unlike Colfer and Michele, he has yet to discuss any of this with Monteith. But it shouldn’t come as much of a shock since the actor knew Finn “was a sophomore when the show started.”
“I have a bruise wall,” Zach Woodlee, “Glee” choreographer, tells us from a “Glee Live” tour stop in New Jersey. “It’s where we showcase everyone’s injuries.” Woodlee, who is also working with Oxygen’s “The Glee Project” to find and train a new star for the show, gleefully shared shared with us some of his favorite cast injuries.
Amber Riley’s Wheelchair Accident
“In Wheels, my favorite injury was Amber. We had to go through multiple sets because of the ramps we used and on some of them you gain so much speed going down that the wheel becomes like flames on your skin. When you’re in the chair you forget you can stand, and so Amber is going down a ramp and the wheel hits the lip, and it’s like slow motion panic on her face where she realizes ‘Yes, this is going to happen’ and then she falls into the crevice.”
Lea Michele Takes A Tumble
“Lea banged the back of her head really bad in a wheelchair too. Some of the chairs have stoppers on them so you can pop a wheelie like Kevin does. Lea assumed hers had one and she goes “look at me” and tried to pop a wheelie, but instead she flipped backwards and landed in a snow angel position.”
Dianna Agron’s Mistake Requires A Costume Change
“For one scene, Dianna was trying to run through an aisle where we’d removed some of the chair to make it bigger, and of course the one screw sticking up found Dianna’s foot and she goes tumbling like 3 or 4 feet and rips up the front of her knee. We had to put her in long dresses for a bit.”
Chris Colfer’s Roller Skating Injury Made Scenes Difficult
“Cutting a dance scene is a rarity. The writers are usually very specific and know in advance what they want. [One specific scene that was cut after choreography and filming was a number in the first season featuring Chris Colfer and the Cheerios]. That number was hilarious, I can’t remember too many specifics because it feels like 10 year ago. I do remember there were a lot of megaphones in the number and we had issues with them. Chris had hurt himself because we’d just filmed a roller skating scene. That’s Ryan for you, he suddenly tells you everyone needs to be on roller skates and I’m like ‘But some of them can’t skate!’ Plus I’m trying to keep them safe and get them to nationals. But Chris had injured his wrist and we had to cheat around that in the scene.”
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Glee is going green.
In case you missed the photos and tweets burning up the web today, the Fox phenom is shooting scenes on location in New York this week for the Nationals-themed season finale. Among the iconic stops: Times Square, Lincoln Center and, TVLine can confirm exclusively, the Gershwin Theatre — home to Broadway’s Wicked.
According to a Big Apple spywitness, Lea Michele (Rachel) and Chris Colfer (Kurt) are scheduled to shoot scenes at the theatre Monday afternoon. Might the pair reteam for an encore performance of “Defying Gravity” from season 1? Perhaps they’re merely sightseeing — and happen to run into onetime Glinda Kristin Chenoweth (aka Glee‘s April Rhodes)?
Whatever it is, it sure has Michele hyper. “I’m so excited about what we’re about to do!!!!” she just tweeted. And something tells me she wasn’t referring to the TKTS booth in Times Square.