Despite early speculation that Billy Crystal would win the role of the wacky father of the musical's young heroine, the trade paper confirms the British actor has landed the part.
Broadbent joins the cast of the Adam Shankman-directed motion picture which boasts John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle, Amanda Bynes as Penny Pingleton, Zac Efron as Link Larkin, Brittany Snow as Amber von Tussel, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma von Tussel, James Marsden as Corny Collins, Elijah Kelly as Seaweed and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad.
An Academy Award winner for his turn in "Iris," Broadbent has also appeared in such films as "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Bridget Jones' Diary" and the sequel, "Vera Drake," "Vanity Fair," "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Gangs of New York."
Filming for the New Line Cinema motion picture is set to begin in September in Canada. Featuring a screenplay by Leslie Dixon, “Hairspray” — with a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman — is expected to hit movie theatres around the country Dec. 21, 2007. Hairspray, based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name, currently plays the Neil Simon Theatre. The show won 2003 Tony Awards for Best Score (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), Best Book (Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell), Best Actress in a Musical (Marissa Jaret Winokur), Best Actor (Harvey Fierstein), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dick Latessa), Best Costume Design (William Ivey Long), Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical.