Shankman Dances His Way Into "Hairspray" Gig

by | September 29, 2005 | Comments

What’s a dance choreographer to do after he graduates to the realm of Profitable Director? Why, he goes back to choreography again, which is precisely what Adam Shankman will be doing for New Line’s "Hairspray."

Mr. Shankman, the auteur behind such seminal classics as "The Wedding Planner," "Bringing Down the House," "The Pacifier," and the impending "Cheaper By the Dozen 2," has been tapped to direct (AND choreograph) "Hairspray," which is based on a Broadway show that was based on John Waters‘ flick from 1988.

According to Variety, "Shankman…will begin working immediately with screenwriter Leslie Dixon and lyricist-composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the Tony-winning team that wrote the "Hairspray" score. Production will begin early next year in Baltimore, for a summer 2007 release.

Casting will now begin in earnest. John Travolta is expected to play Edna Turnblad, the role Harvey Fierstein originated onstage. The involvement of Shankman, who directed "Bringing Down the House," makes Queen Latifah an instant front-runner for the role of Motormouth Maybelle.

Shankman fills a vacancy created when original choreographer Jerry Mitchell and stage director Jack O’Brien bowed out as the pic’s co-directors."

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