Director Adam Shankman has told the British press that Hairspray 2 is dead. He said:
“I’m going to kill that rumour now, that got killed,” Adam said in Hollywood. He added: “It’s ok, I was so happy with the first one, let’s leave well enough alone. It’s all good.”
Even though the 2007 film grossed over $200 million at the worldwide box office and starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow and Zac Efron, it seems they could never crack the code to make a sequel work. Back in April of 2009, Shankman talked about the Hairspray sequel at the 17 Again press day. Hit the jump for more:
Back in 2009, it seemed like the sequel was moving forward, as he told us:
“there are some really funny ideas, we don’t have a writer for it yet.” He went on to say, “the group – the producers and myself and the composers – decided on a direction that we want to go in. Because I have no interest in doing something that was going to, it was such a good experience for me that anything that would possibly impugn that experience was absolutely non-gratifying for me. We then sat down and said ‘Hairspray 1’ worked for this reason, why would we do ‘Hairspray 2’? Because you start getting into ‘Grease 2’…But there are very funny ideas that me and Mark came up with. John Waters wrote a treatment that was so insane. That was really a sequel to his version of the movie with all the cattle prods and the electro shock therapy, and seaweed. And Penny blew up the world at a certain point out of anger. It was this crazy thing. But we saw it as something to borrow from, so we took some of the less insane ideas. We are just hiring a writer now, and then we will get into it.”
With the huge cast of the first Hairspray, perhaps getting everyone back might have been difficult. But the film was profitable for the studio and it got great reviews, as it’s still at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which means you know the studio wanted it.
I think this might be one of the rare times that the lack of a great story actually killed a sequel. Because I’ll bet if a writer had come in and pitched something great, this would still be moving forward.
But…this is Hollywood. Never bet against anything when money is involved.