Fans who found themselves belting along with the catchy tunes of The Greatest Showman may have a new slew of songs to sing, as a sequel could be in the works. Starring Hugh Jackman, the musical, which premiered in 2017, is a biopic of a man with a vision to create a spectacle the world had never seen before.
Drawn from real-life inspiration, The Greatest Showman celebrates the birth of show business and those with extraordinary talent, abnormal abilities, and untapped potential. Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum - the man who created the Barnum & Bailey circus - who's struggling to provide for his family. Barnum’s innovation leads him to assemble a cast of known misfits who'll sacrifice everything to produce the greatest show. The Greatest Showman boasted a star-studded cast, with Michelle Williams as P.T’s wife Charity Barnum, Zac Efron as Phillip Carlyle, Zendaya as Anne Wheeler, and Keala Settle as Lettie Lutz. Directed by Michael Gracey and penned by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, the film dominated the box office, grossing more than $434 million worldwide and claiming a spot on the list of highest grossing live-action musicals. Now, there are teases of a sequel being in the works.
According to People, Jackman was a guest on the BBC 2 radio show Steve Wright’s Big Guest and hinted at the idea of developing a follow-up to The Greatest Showman. It wasn't the first mention of a sequel, as Jackman first discussed his interest last year. Jackman said of the musical’s possible sequel:
I’m being completely honest with you, there is talk of something going around but no one is really sure. But I think someone is working on a treatment for something...and I know they are, they’re working on a treatment for something. I would like to be part of it for sure, and I don’t know if it would be centered on my character. The other thing is, it did take eight years to get it made and that wasn’t all eight years of convincing people. It takes a long time to write stuff.
Most of The Greatest Showman's success can be attributed to the motion picture original soundtrack and its performers. Racking in over 1.3 million in album sales, the soundtrack topped the charts in 2018. Movie theaters also released the film in a singalong version - one of which Jackman himself attended to the surprise and delight of fans. With songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul - who were also responsible for the Oscar-winning La La Land - the soundtrack even received a new remix album called The Greatest Showman - Reimagined.
Even with raving fans and soundtrack success, it's still unclear if any of the cast aside from Jackman would be onboard with a sequel. Williams is slated to star alongside Sam Rockwell in the highly anticipated Fosse/Verdon premiering this week. Efron has received critical praise for his role as Ted Bundy in the upcoming Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile and another notable cast member of The Greatest Showman, Keala Settle, was recently in Rent: Live. Over the past decade, musicals have been rejuvenated in Hollywood. One of the reasons The Greatest Showman is so memorable is because fans were left with songs to sing and a satisfying ending. A sequel to the film may well dispel that magic However, if the original cast and songwriters are attached, a sequel to The Greatest Showman may be another surprising success.