The King of Hell will mix it up with Queen in the second half of Lucifer‘s fifth season.
On Saturday, Lucifer showrunners Ildy Modrovich and Joe Henderson lifted the curtain on a special sneak peek at season 5’s 10th episode titled “Bloody Celestial Karaoke Jam,” a.k.a. the upcoming musical episode, which was directed by panelist Sherwin Shilati. In the clip, Lucifer (Tom Ellis), Chloe (Lauren German), Dan (Kevin Alejandro), and Ella (Aimee Garcia) break out into Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” with a high school marching band and cheer squad while examining a corpse on a football field. Why exactly? Well, no one knows, but it seems the Devil is the only who is even aware of the song-and-dance number.
While the producers didn’t reveal why the characters are bursting out into song, they did share some details on how this episode came to be. It’s been something they’ve wanted to do for a while.
“It’s been a slow burn,” said Modrovich, who wrote the episode. “In my heart, it began to blossom after the Vegas episode [in season 2], when Tom and Aimee did ‘Luck Be a Lady.’ I remember coming into rehearsal for that and crying because it was such a dream come true and it was so exciting to me. If there’s any show you could do a musical on, it’s this one.”
They waited so long to do it though because they needed to come up with an in-story reason for all of the music. According to Shilati, the one the writers came up with for this episode is “genius.”
“To me, in these musical episodes you’ve got to have the story-based reason that everyone breaks into song,” said Henderson. “Our show has people breaking into song all the time, but it’s because they’re at Lux or reasons like that. So, one of the challenges was, ‘What element could we introduce that is organic to our story that allows all of our cast to burst into song?’ And when we found that… that’s when it came together.”
Of course, a musical episode is a massive undertaking for any show, whether it’s on a streaming platform or network TV, and that was very much the case for Lucifer‘s endeavor. To pull this off, they had to create a special schedule to track all of the rehearsals and recordings, and their costume team even made Ellis a special suit that would stretch, thus allowing him to do all of the choreography. Alas, he still ended up splitting his pants, according to Modrovich.
“We almost broke our show,” said Modrovich. “I think we almost exploded our show.”
Despite all of the planning, there was still a tiny bit of improvisation — specifically in the Queen number, which shows German doing a provocative dance move with Ellis that she came up with on her own.
“Lauren really takes control of the moment,” noted Shilati, who went on to expand on how improvisation worked across the entire episode. “We would be dancing between takes and just messing around. Everyone would just be having so much fun that you’d discover things in those moments and you’d end up putting it in the show. There’s like .05 percent of improv in there, but it’s in there.”
While the trio didn’t reveal the rest of the episode’s tracklist, they did tease the final number, which Henderson described as a “beautiful duet.” According to Shilati, that was the most interesting scene to direct because “it has so much going on in it, yet not that much at all.”
“I wanted that one to have a special quality, a standalone quality, but not for the reasons the audience might think. I’m pretty confident that we built the momentum up to get to that point in the episode,” said the director.
Overall, it sounds like the episode will be very Lucifer. Said Modrovich, “There’s a lot of funny, but there’s also a lot of emotion. So there’s a great range of feelings that are expressed.”
The first eight episodes of Lucifer season 5 are available on Netflix now