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Sixteen years after the release of the original film, New Line Cinema is bringing a feature film adaptation of the Tony award-winning Broadway production Hairspray to life. Featuring new and original material based on John Waters’ 1988 cult classic about star-struck teenagers on a local Baltimore dance show, the comedy features a remarkable collection of talent including John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, Allison Janney, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), and director Adam Shankman (Bringing Down The House).
At last, John Travolta won’t have to invent excuses for himself to dance, the dancing will happen as a natural part of the script. Travolta will play Edna Turnblad, who I’m just going to assume isn’t a nearsighted superhero costume designer. Yes, we’ll get to see John Travolta soft-shoeing in drag. The really exciting part of this story is that the film’s screenplay is written by co-written Leslie Dixon, the guy who co-wrote Travolta’s Look Who’s Talking Now. This officially means Travolta’s career is once again dead, doesn’t it? Where’s Tarantino?
Other than the opportunity to see John Travolta cross-dress, I’m not sure how to explain all the interest in this project, but it’s there. People seem to be following it closely, but then people are also pretty interested in whether or not Brad Pitt enjoyed his new daughter's first burp. It’s a strange world.
What’s strange is that Hollywood still hasn’t caught on to the fact that the movie musical craze is over with. Maybe Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd will be worth watching, just for the weirdness of Johnny Depp singing and dancing, but since Chicago audience interest in the musical genre has gone right back into hibernation again. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s interest in doing them hasn’t followed suit. So, until they lose enough money to wake them up, here’s Hairspray. They’d better use extra hold Aquanet if they want it to stick.