Kevin McHale Refuses to Join a ‘Glee’ Reboot as Artie: I ‘Shouldn’t Be Playing a Character in a Wheelchair’

Glee” co-creator Ryan Murphy floated the idea earlier this month of a “Glee” reboot, saying enough time has passed since the Fox musical comedy’s original run that returning to the franchise is now more of interest to him. Should Murphy go ahead and reboot “Glee,” don’t expect to see actor Kevin McHale back as the lovable and loyal Glee club member Artie Abrams.

“I don’t know if Artie could be in it,” McHale told Insider about the potential reboot. “Knowing what we know now, I don’t think I should be playing a character that’s in a wheelchair. So, if they let me grow out of my beard and play a different character, I’ll do it.”

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McHale has previously said that neither he nor the “Glee” production team “knew better” when he was cast as Artie. The character got into a car accident at 8 years old, which resulted in him being in a wheelchair. McHale said at the time, “What were we thinking? I can’t play that part.”

Murphy first revealed the idea of a potential “Glee” reboot on the “And That’s What You REALLY Missed” podcast, hosted by McHale and his “Glee” co-star Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang). The series originally aired for six seasons and 121 episodes on Fox and inspired a 3D concert movie and countless soundtrack albums.

“I’m at the phase now with that show where it’s like, well, there’s been enough time,” Murphy said. “Like, maybe we should really re-examine it as a brand. You know, should we do a reboot of it in some way? Should we do a Broadway musical of it in some way?”

Ushkowitz told Insider she’d only star in a “Glee” reboot if Murphy was involved, adding, “I look to the leader. Ryan Murphy said something on our podcast about it, so you’ll have to listen. I think if it could be done in the right way, he would do it. The stars have to align in order for something to make sense to do it, or he’s not gonna do it. Like, the integrity has to be there.”

“If Ryan was involved, I mean, that’s when you consider it,” she added. “That’s when you talk about actually the possibility of doing it. Otherwise, you can count me out.”

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