From Screen to Stage and Back Again, "Hairspray" Will Be Movie Musical from New Line

News   From Screen to Stage and Back Again, "Hairspray" Will Be Movie Musical from New Line The movie "Hairspray," now a smash Broadway musical, will be a movie musical from New Line Cinema, Variety reported.
John Waters
John Waters Photo by Aubrey Reuben

New Line co-chairmen and co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne confirmed to Variety that the picture is being aimed for a 2006 release. New Line released the original 1988 John Waters film, which took him from cult independent director to Hollywood player.

"This whole idea of musical adaptations of films from within our library was about creating additional value for our films, and 'Hairspray' was the first of those projects to come together," Lynne told Daily Variety. "This new version adds another generation of value. The continuum is very exciting."

The movie and the musical concern Tracy Turnblad, a chubby and upbeat teen in 1960s Baltimore who wants to appear on the local TV dance show. In the process, she ends up breaking down racial barriers and falling in love, first to the chagrin and then to the delight of her buxom mom (played on film by Divine and on Broadway by Harvey Fierstein).

Performances continue on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre (Fierstein leaves this spring and Michael McKean fills Edna's orthopedic shoes) and across the country in a national tour starring Bruce Vilanch. A Toronto company is currently in rehearsal.

Variety reports librettists Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan will adapt their book for the movie musical version.

Casting has not been announced, nor has a director. Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien staged the Broadway show.