Wednesday, June 22, 2005


New Line has pushed the start date of Hairspray, the adaptation of the musical, from this fall to spring 2006, and co-directors Jerry Mitchell and Jack O'Brien have left the production. Mitchell choreographed the stage musical and O'Brien won a Tony for directing it.

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Variety says the studio is eyeing Chicago helmer Rob Marshall and has shifted its projected Hairspray release from Christmas 2006 to summer 2007. Marshall will be available to talk after completing a cut of Memoirs of a Geisha he'll show to Sony executives on Friday. Marshall developed the stage version of "Hairspray" as director and choreographer. When he stepped out to do Chicago, O'Brien and Mitchell replaced him.

The six-month postponement was the reason for the exits, said the mini-major, creating a conflict with O'Brien play commitments, including a Tom Stoppard trilogy slated for Lincoln Center. Mitchell left with O'Brien.

New Line attributed the delay to concerns that it would have to shorten rehearsal time in order to wrap before winter in Toronto. Instead, Hairspray will shoot in spring. Second-unit work will be done in Baltimore, where John Waters set the original film.

John Travolta had been approached to play Edna Turnblad, but no real deals will be set until Mrs. Doubtfire screenwriter Leslie Dixon completes her rewrite and a director is hired.

This looks like a wacky movie...I haven't seen the play yet.


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