Billy Crystal is in talks to play Wilbur Turnblad in New Line Cinema’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Hairspray, according to Variety. Aretha Franklin is also negotiating to play R&B record shop owner Motormouth Maybelle. Should negotiations go well, they would join John Travolta, who is interested in playing Edna Turnblad, Wilbur’s wife.
New Line has stated that no offers will be made to cast the film until screenwriter Leslie Dixon (Mrs. Doubtfire) finishes the script. She recently replaced the musical’s original book writers, Thomas Meehan and Mark O’Donnell, on the project. The movies is on track to start filming in September.