Variety reports that sources close to the "Hairspray" film say that Travolta "has the inside track" to the play role created on Broadway by current Fiddler on the Roof star Harvey Fierstein. In an earlier report, Fierstein, who received a Tony Award for his performance, was scheduled to reprise his role on film. No official casting announcement has been made. The industry paper also says that Leslie Dixon has replaced Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan as the film's screenwriter. O'Donnell and Meehan collaborated on the book for the Broadway musical and were rewarded with a Tony for their effort.
New Line Cinema's Neil Meron, who is co-producing the film with Craig Zadan, told Variety, "We're exploring everything, and all our opportunities are open. The best people (will) get the job." Filming for "Hairspray" is expected to begin in September.
John Travolta scored one of the biggest successes of his career portraying Danny Zuko in the 1978 film version of the long-running Broadway musical Grease. He also appeared in the Broadway production of that fifties musical as well as the original musical Over Here!. Travolta was Oscar-nominated for his roles in "Saturday Night Fever" and "Pulp Fiction."