The first images from The Greatest Showman depict Hugh Jackman as circus master P.T. Barnum. It’s been a long road to get The Greatest Showman made, and Jackman’s involvement was first reported in 2014, but the movie is finally up and running, and set to release on Christmas Day, 2017.
Starring Jackman as Barnum, The Greatest Showman also features Michelle Williams as his wife, Charity, Zac Efron as Barnum’s business partner, and Rebecca Ferguson as Jenny Lind, the Swedish opera singer with whom Barnum had a torrid affair. Zendaya also appears as a trapeze performer, though her character’s name is not yet known. The first images from The Greatest Showman have arrived, via EW. Take a look in our gallery, below.
The Greatest Showman will chart the fascinating life story of Phineas Taylor Barnum; showman, businessman, and politician, who famously declared he made a living out of the art of humbug. Barnum purchased the American Museum around 1835, where he displayed ‘oddities’ and ‘curiosities’ such as General Tom Thumb and a ‘real-live’ Mermaid. He also brought the opera singer, Jenny Lind to U.S. shores, paying her a then unprecedented $1000 a night for her tour. After serving in senate, and a nationwide lecture tour, Barnum joined the circus after the death of his wife, teaming with ringmaster James Bailey. The Barnum and Bailey circus is due to close this month, after being in business for 146 years.
While initially, The Greatest Showman was conceived as a straightforward biopic, to the delight of many, it is now a full musical. Both Jackman and Efron are talented musical performers, and with an original score from Oscar-winners and Tony nominees, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen), this movie could well be one to start getting excited for. Despite the period setting, the songs are all modern, and Jackman, who serves as a producer on the movie, says that’s been a deliberate choice that was made a long time ago:
“We were clear from the beginning that this wouldn’t feel like a period movie or a historical piece. What would Barnum do now? I have an almost-12-year-old daughter. I wanted [the movie] to be as exciting for her as listening to Katy Perry’s new song.”
With a screenplay by Bill Condon (Beauty and the Beast), Jenny Bicks and Michael Arndt, The Greatest Showman marks the directorial debut of Michael Gracey. The images above are a visual feast; bright, colorful, and intriguing. Fans of the Broadway musical, Barnum, will also notice that Jackman’s circus outfit bears a striking resemblance to the one Barnum wears in that show, and the scene between Jackman and Williams as she hangs out the laundry, is also replicated from the stage. It’ll be interesting to see if any other ideas are picked up and recreated on the screen, when a trailer is released.