Variety reports that John Travolta is the leading contender to step into Harvey Fierstein's fuzzy slippers to play the lead role of Edna Turnblad in the upcoming screen musical version of Hairspray. Much of the buzz about Travolta follows the replacement of the Broadway show's authors, Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, with screenwriter Leslie Dixon, whose credits include Travolta's Look Who's Talking Now as well as cross-dressing comedy Mrs. Doubtfire and the Freaky Friday remake. New Line said casting would most likely not be firmed up before Dixon turns in her draft. Openly gay producer Neil Meron, who's producing the film with his Storyline Entertainment partner Craig Zadan, told Variety, "We're exploring everything, and all our options are open. The best people [will] get the job." Hairspray is tentatively scheduled to start shooting in September.