UPDATE: Lea Michele tweets, “We always knew we’d graduate in real time. It’s all part of the plan and it’s all good! It’s going to make Season 3 amazing!!! To Gleeks everywhere, you’re in my heart now and forever. Love u all!!! This is just the beginning!!”
In a THR exclusive interview, Glee creator, Ryan Murphy drops this little bombshell: regulars Lea Michele, Cory Monteith and Chris Colfer will not be back for Glee Season 4.
Colfer, Michele and Monteith are “not going to be back at all for Season 4, ” Murphy said. “You can keep them on the show for six years and people will criticize you for not being realistic, 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.”
Murphy added that planning for the future beyond high school will be a heavy theme during Season 3, noting that “more characters are leaving than are staying” when graduation time comes at the season’s end.
“We’ve never done anything by the book, ” he said, adding that who’s graduating and who’s staying will be revealed in the Sept. 20 season premiere. “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.”
Ha ha. Ryan hasn’t discussed the graduation plans with Cory Monteith (Finn) yet, but “He knows he was a sophomore when the show started.” Ryan also says the Glee gang won’t be playing “relationship roulette” this season–their love lives will be much more stable.
“I’m much more interested in Lea’s character — not so much on her relationship with Finn, but more on what her dreams are beyond high school and how she plans on getting them, ” he added. “That’s what my senior year was about.”
This year will focus on the seniors graduating and getting ready for life beyond high school.
Chris Colfer has a ton of work lined up already–he’s currently filming a movie called “Struck By Lightning” he wrote, stars in and is executive producing. He’s developing a show for Disney and has signed a deal to pen two young adult books. Lea Michele will make movies and/or go back to Broadway. Cory Monteith’s future is a little more uncertain, but I could see him breaking into film. His work on Glee is criminally underrated, in my opinion.
Of course. There’s always that New York City spin-off Glee watchers have been speculating about. If you’ll remember, in the “Breakfast at Tiffanys” scene from the Glee finale, Kurt and Rachel pledged to hit the big city together–with Blaine in tow–after graduation. Ryan has denied in interviews, he was setting up the trio for a spin-off in that scene, but he hasn’t ruled it out yet, either. A spin off could potentially result in TWO hit musical shows for FOX and Murphy and would allow them to hold on to some really popular characters. Sounds like a major win, to me.
(In this interview with Gold Derby, Chris Colfer hedged answering a question about the fate of his character on Glee beyond Season 3, but told fans not to “fret”. He definitely knew something at the time, but was not spilling. Hm.)
Oh..and seriously? Mark Salling was too old to play a high schooler in the first place. He needs to go. And Ryan…you can’t fudge. It’s been established that Darren Criss’s character, Blaine, is a senior too. Unless you flunk him, you’ve got to let him go too.