Hairspray Sequels

Working Title:

Hairspray 2: White Lipstick

First Announced:

July 2008 (New Line Cinema)


June 2010 (New Line Cinema)

Possible Revival:

February 2019 (HBO)

Confirmed Returning:

Tracy Turnblad
Link Larkin
Little Inez Stubbs
Edna Turnblad
Wilbur Turnblad

Not Returning:

Velma Von Tussle

Hairspray 2: White Lipstick was the working title of a now cancelled sequel to Hairspray. It was ordered by New Line Cinema and written by the 1988 film's John Waters.[1] It was set to star the original cast of the 2007 film, minus Michelle Pfeiffer, who played Velma Von Tussle.[2]

There was also some confusion over whether or not John Travolta would be returning as Edna Turnblad. In October of 2008, Travolta said he would not be returning.[3] "I think once is enough," Travolta said of playing Edna Turnblad. "I did it and I did it well but I'm not a big sequel guy."[3]

This was later disputed by John Waters who said that Travolta was on board as long as it was funny. [2]

In a 2009 MTV interview, director Adam Shankman elaborated on why Pfeiffer would not be returning, "[It's] not because we didn’t love her, but because we just thought different adversaries [would be necessary]... There’ll be a change in villains.”[2]

The plot of Hairspray 2: White Lipstick has never been fully divulged, but writer John Waters has given away several details. In the film, Tracy Turnblad struggles with being a celebrity in a society that expects women to be thin. Meanwhile, Edna Turnblad's diet pills that were mentioned in the last film have become a full blown addiction, leading to a strain in her marriage. Link Larkin struggles to get his career off the ground. Eventually he finds some success pretending to be British, cashing in on the popularity of the infamous British invasion. The film is set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the continuation of the Civil Rights Movement, with Little Inez Stubbs playing a much larger role as a Civil Rights activist. [2][4]

There were also some controversial scenes included in the proposed sequel, including one where Link Larkin unintentionally drops acid and hallucinated that his acne is singing.[2] Director Adam Shankman admitted that he wasn't sure if that idea would work.

While a script was completed, no songs were ever written or recorded. [4]

Angela Howard - Avon 1966 Cover

Potential HBO Sequel

In February 2019, John Waters told Variety that HBO had asked him to write a sequel to Hairspray, but that it was not produced. It is unknown how much resemblance this version has to the failed 2009 pitch.[5]


The name "White Lipstick" was a reference to the 1960's fashion trend of using white lipstick to make lips paler. This was normally done by putting white lipstick over pink lipstick, as demonstrated by fashion model Angela Howard on the 1966 cover of Avon's Outlook. This can be seen in the film when Tracy Turnblad is getting ready. It was also a working title for the original 1988 Hairspray. [2]


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4.0 4.1
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