Queen Latifah and John Travolta have been cast to star in New Line Cinema’s upcoming remake of the 1988 film, Hairspray
The musical, which takes place in 1962, is set to begin production in Baltimore and Toronto, Canada in Sept. and will be directed by Adam Shankman.
In the original version, which was a non-musical movie released in 1988, character Tracy Turnblad realizes her dream of becoming a regular on the Corny Collins Dance Show.
She uses her new found fame to speak out against segregation and comes head to head with her racist rival in a competition for Miss Auto Show 1963.
Travolta will play a woman in the role of Edna Turnblad, first played by actor Harvey Fierstein, who won a Tony Award for his performance.
Latifah will star as “Motormouth Maybelle,” a civil rights activist and dance show host.
The rapper reprises the role originally played by legendary R&B singer Ruth Brown.
Latifah will be reunited with Shankman, who directed Bringing Down The House, as well as Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who executive produced Chicago.
“She’s [Queen Latifah] one of the few actresses who can play a dynamic character like this and sing a big show-stopping ballad,” Zadan told Variety. “And Neil and I have been talking to John [Travolta] for more than a year, before he came to the conclusion that Hairspray. met his criteria for his return in an unexpected event vehicle.”
Producers are currently searching the nation for an actress to play the character Tracy Turnblad, which was played by actress/talk show host Ricki Lake.
The Broadway musical play Hairspray has grossed over $150 million dollars since opening in 2002.
Hairspraywill debut in Summer of 2007.