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Walken Replaces Broadbent for Hairspray

Published August 17, 2006 in Casting Update
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of WireImage.
Christopher Walken Christopher Walken
A little over a week ago we announced that Jim Broadbent had been selected to play the father, Wilber Turnblad, in the upcoming bigscreen adaptation of Hairspray. Well, it turns out things didn't pan out and Christopher Walken has stepped in as the replacement.

Christopher Walken for Hairspray

According to Variety, New Line has completed casting of key roles for Hairspray when they replaced Jim Broadbent with Christopher Walken. Walken will play Wilber Turnblad, the father of lead character Tracy Turnblad.

Walken joins John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron and newcomer Nikki Blonsky, who'll play Tracy.

Leslie Dixon wrote the script, and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron produce. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are writing a refreshed score for the film.

"Chris was the person Scott and I wanted in the first place, and this is a happy ending to this particular saga," Shaiman said. "It seems like this part allows him to coalesce all his skills into one role. I am constantly pessimistic, but I look at this cast and feel like I've fallen into an old MGM musical."

It turns out that Walken has experience with musical tunes thanks to Pennies From Heaven. The actor can be seen in with Robin Williams in Man of the Year and Universal's Balls of Fury.

Hairspray begins filming on September 5th in Toronto. Though New Line initially planned for a December 21st, 2007, release, the company has accelerated the date forward to summer of 2007.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Sources: Image property of WireImage.

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