March 13, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Long gone are the days when director John Waters made a career of shocking movie moments like drag queen Divine’s notorious doggie-doo dinner in 1972’s Pink Flamingos. Now, nearly 40 years after he became a cult icon and about 20 years after he started to become semi-respectable (ever since his 1988 hit Hairspray), Waters is going mainstream with a vengeance. Not only is the Tony-winning Broadway musical adaptation of Hairspray being turned into a star-stacked 2007 big-screen remake — featuring names like John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and High School Musical hottie Zac Efron — but Waters is also finally crossing the final bad-boy taboo: he’s making a movie for kids. Yes, really!

Waters revealed exclusively to EW that he’s currently at work on “a terribly wonderful children’s Christmas adventure called Fruitcake. It is a children’s film,” he said. “One that I’ve been working on a long time, and I’m hoping to start shooting it in the fall. It’s a very special film, and it’s one that could appeal to children that are especially creative.” Which means, no doubt, less polished Disney cheer, more Corpse Bride dark wit.

Though Waters says he has a cast in mind, he claims his lips will remain sealed on the details for the time being. And what the MPAA ratings board will think of it all will have to wait as well.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is a John Waters children’s movie a sign of the apocalypse, or proof that no one stays avant-garde forever? Think Waters can pull off a film that will delight kids without freaking out their parents? And how eager are you to see (and to take your kids to see) the finished product?

addCredit(“Mark Von Holden/”)

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