According to Variety, sources close to Hairspray report that John Travolta has the inside track to star as the zaftig Edna Turnblad in the movie version of the Broadway tuner. Harvey Fierstein created the stage role of the Baltimore laundress-housewife, played by Divine in the 1988 John Waters movie.

Fueling the Travolta report is news that screenwriter Leslie Dixon, who co-penned Travolta's 1993 Look Who's Talking Now, has replaced Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan on the film project. The writing duo penned the book for the musical.

New Line did not confirm the Travolta choice, and it is unlikely that any casting will be firmed up before Dixon finishes polishing her script. She has already turned in a first draft.

"We're exploring everything, and all our opportunities are open," said Neil Meron, who is producing the "Hairspray" film with Craig Zadan. "The best people (will) get the job."

"Hairspray" is expected but not confirmed to go before the cameras in September.