The 'Glee' creator opened up about the initial ideas for the character during Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz's new podcast.
Murphy recently joined former Glee co-stars Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale for the first episode of their new podcast, And That's What You REALLY Missed, and revealed that the character -- portrayed for six seasons by Matthew Morrison -- was actually written with Justin Timberlake in mind.
"When we were writing the pilot, I’ve never really talked about this, that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake," Murphy revealed. "Mr. Schue was written for Justin."
Additionally, in the original version of the pilot script, Mr. Schue was quite a bit different than his character wound up -- just like the show itself.
"Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian’s script," Murphy said, referring to Glee co-creator Ian Brennan. "The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling."
However, Murphy said he felt the original take on the show's premise, and its central character was too dark for Fox, and wasn't what he was looking to create, adding he wanted "something optimistic."
According to Murphy, even the way he was introduced to Brennan's script was surprisingly unorthodox, by Hollywood standards. He was struggling to come up with an idea after signing a deal with Fox, and "like serendipity," the idea fell into his lap.
"I went to the gym and I was in a towel and a guy went up and handed me a script and he said, 'I had a feeling you were in show choir, am I right?' And I was like 'Yeah.' And he said, 'My friend wrote this script and you should read it,'" Murphy recalled, going on to say that it was the first step toward the creation of the show that would go on to be a massive hit.
The second half of Murphy's interview will appear in the next episode of And That's What You REALLY Missed.