Imagine taking a John Waters film--one that again stars Divine-- seriously . But sources say that Waters' latest, "Hairspray," set to begin shooting in Baltimore this week, will deal with racial integration.
Said the source: "It's about integration, and what it's like to be a minority person . . . but, naturally, it's also silly and outrageous."
Waters was reluctant to reveal much from his hometown of Baltimore, calling it "a sacrilege" to discuss film projects in advance ("I think it can curse the project"). But he conceded that "there's an element of seriousness" in his new picture, which follows the outrageous and bizarre "Pink Flamingos" and "Polyester."
The story, according to the source, focuses on "The Corey Collins Show," a local "Bandstand"-like show resembling Baltimore's 1960's "Buddy Dean Show," and the teen-agers who become local stars from exposure on the dance program (Divine and Deborah Harry will play two of the teens' mothers). The conflict arises from attempts to include blacks on the all-white show.
Waters described it as "sort of a musical about lunatic teen-age celebrities and their redneck stage mothers, and their quest for mental health."
Planned for release in early 1988 by New Line Cinema, "Hairspray" will be Waters' most expensive film to date--"under $2 million," he said, compared to $200,000 for "Polyester."
And talking unusual movie makers, Paul Morrissey's image may also be in for an overhaul, according to David Weisman, the co-producer of Morrissey's next film, "Throwback."
Written by Morrissey (who made "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" in association with Andy Warhol), "Throwback" will star . . . Ernest Borgnine as "an Italian businessman--a Mafia-type Marty--who wants to clean up the neighborhood," Beverly D'Angelo as his wife and Sasha Mitchell, 19, a former Calvin Klein model, as an aspiring boxer/"Italian street-punk."
"Try to imagine Paul Morrissey doing a comedy in the tradition of 'Ruthless People' . . . a bigger, broader comedy than usual, but with the hard-edged, Morrissey touches," said Weisman (he produced "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and the in-production "Ironweed").
Morrissey got a bit more serious with his last pic, "Mixed Blood," a gritty drama about feuding NYC gangs, and with "Throwback," Weisman said: "We decided it was time to upgrade Paul's vision, to give it the time and attention it deserves."
The $2-million film begins shooting in and around Brooklyn on June 17.