Ryan Murphy disclosed he envisioned pop megastar Justin Timberlake for the role of Mr. Schuester in the musical TV series Glee.
The character of Mr. Schuester that inevitably went to Broadway actor Matthew Morrison was a Spanish teacher who forms a show choir at the school.
Murphy reunited to reflect on the show's pilot episode with Glee stars Kevin McHale, who played Artie Abrams, and Jenna Ushkowitz, who played Tina Cohen-Chang on the first episode of their new iHeart Radio podcast And That's What You REALLY Missed.
During the discussion, the award-winning writer said of the role of Mr. Schue:
"When we were writing the pilot, I've never really talked about this, that pilot was written for Justin Timberlake."
"Mr. Schue was written for Justin."
Some fans were floored by the revelation.
Some people were hardly jolted by the news.
Prior to the revelation, Murphy talked about the origins of Glee and how he was trying to find a way to develop a musical TV series well after landing an overall deal with Fox.
The script for Glee was given to him at the most unexpected place and time.
"While we were having these conversations and I was trying to figure it out, like serendipity, 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'."
While he was impressed by the viability and potential of the musical show after reading the original script–written by co-creator Ian Brennan–Murphy wasn't so sure about the darker tone.
"Mr. Schue, I believe, was a crystal meth addict in Ian's script," Murphy said.
"The NC-17 version of show choir with a weird protagonist who was unraveling."
Murphy then requested the show to be more "pop-y" and "not dark," adding he needed "something optimistic."
Interestingly, Glee wound up portraying Mr. Schue as a controversial figure.
Examples of this include his blackmailing Finn to get him to join the glee club, Mr. Schue's insistence for the school to do a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a way to get closer to his "taken" female staff member Emma Pillsbury and a slew of other indiscretions.