Baltimore is going to be rockin – again
You can’t stop this beat!
For the fourth installment of its live musical series, NBC will be gifting us with a new take on the ’60s-set, dance-heavy, politically charged Hairspray.
The musical will air Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET, NBC announced Thursday.
“In keeping with our desire to bring the best of Broadway to our live musicals, we’ve assembled the Broadway dream team of Tony Award winners for Hairspray Live!,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt in a statement.
We still have nearly a year until the show’s December premiere, but in the meantime, we’re dreaming up who should take on the iconic roles. While it’ll be a challenge to live up to the 2007 film – Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Michelle Pfeiffer, John Travolta – this crew shouldn’t have a problem.
Rebel Wilson as Tracy Turnblad
She’s long proved her vocal – and comedic – chops in the two Pitch Perfect films, and since she lives Tracy’s body-positive mantra IRL, she’ll have no problem doing it on-screen, too.
Neil Patrick Harris as Edna Turnblad
This role requires a lot of bulk – and a big personality. The How I Met Your Mother star has plenty of the latter, plus that goofy extra something needed to bring this hilarious character to life. As for the stature, that’s nothing Broadway costume designers haven’t overcome before.
Emily Blunt as Velma Von Tussle
In The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt’s icy tongue was only beat by Miranda’s cold jabs (and let’s face it, no one can top Meryl). Amplify that snobbery and you’ve got the makings of one way-too-intense (racist) TV mom.
Sarah Hyland as Penny Pingleton
The Modern Family star is funny enough to capture Penny’s quirkiness, and she’s got musical experience from her turns in Grey Gardens and Hair on-stage.
Zac Efron as Corny Collins
In 2007, Efron set unrealistic expectations for high schoolers everywhere as Link Larkin. Now, he’s older. He’s wiser. But he’s still the same suave charmer he always was – so it only makes sense that he graduates to the role of TV host Collins.
Brittany Snow as Amber Von Tussle
There are some things you just don’t mess with, and Snow’s portrayal of aspiring teen queen Amber Von Tussle is one of them. If Pitch Perfect is any indication, she’s more than ready for this triumphant return to the role.
Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle
Playing Maybelle takes a lot of soul, which Hudson long ago proved she has plenty of. Just Google her Oscar-winning rendition of “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls and that’ll silence any opposition.
Jussie Smollett as Seaweed
We’re thankful for Empire for lots of reasons (namely, Cookie), but we’re especially grateful for it launching Smollett – and his oh-so-incredible vocals – into superstardom. An R&B spin on “Run and Tell That” is just what an updated version of Hairspray needs.
Justin Bieber as Link Larkin
Link’s calling card is making the teen girls of Baltimore swoon over his every move. Sounds familiar? Not only does Bieber have the teenage heartthrob thing down pat, can you just imagine him singing “It Takes Two”?
Zendaya as Little Inez
She got her start playing a professional dancer on the Disney Channel’s Shake It Up!, and Little Inez is the best dancer in Baltimore. It’s a perfect fit.
Hairspray Live! airs Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.