The New York Times reports that “Hairspray” producer Craig Zadan said the $50 million film will be shot entirely in Toronto due to cost and because Baltimore doesn’t have the soundstages required to film the movie musical.
''When you do a big movie musical,” Zadan told the Times, “you need huge soundstages because the sets are very big. You also need a lot of ceiling space because you do a lot of sweeping crane shots, so you've got huge camera equipment.''
The film of “Hairspray” will require two soundstages “of more than 40,000 square feet,” and such facilities do not exist in the city of Baltimore. Although the filming — which is set to begin Sept. 5 — will be done in Toronto, Zadan told the Times that the film will remain a love letter to Baltimore.
“We want to honor Baltimore and honor John Waters, because without Baltimore and without John Waters, there wouldn't be a ‘Hairspray,''' Zadan said. ''Our first choice was to go to Baltimore and shoot everything there.''
Zadan and Neil Meron are producing "Hairspray" for New Line Cinema. Adam Shankman will direct the film, which will star 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, Elijah Kelly as Seaweed and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad. Michelle Pfeiffer is also in final negotiations to play Velma von Tussel . 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.