The first trailer for 20th Century Fox’s P.T. Barnum biopic and original musical The Greatest Showman is here. Hugh Jackman plays Barnum, a charming, down-on-his-luck guy in a top hat, hanging out in Connecticut in the early 1800s. From what we can see, he’s going to be smooching Michelle Williams, teaming up with Zac Efron, and eventually inventing the circus as we know it. “Every one of us is special, and nobody is like anyone else. That’s the point of my show,” he tells a child. Sure! I’m buying it.
After coming up with the concept of the American circus, the real Barnum eventually became a politician and an abolitionist, and continued being a huge weirdo, at one point gifting an elephant to a high school that he sponsored. So, there should be plenty of interesting life events for this film to draw from.
The Greatest Showman is directed by Australian commercial director and visual effects coordinator Michael Gracey, and will be his feature-length debut. Apparently a jack of all trades, he’s also set to direct a live-action adaptation of the manga series Naruto, an Elton John biopic, and Laini Taylor’s 2011 fantasy novel Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The screenplay was written by Bill Condon (Chicago, Dreamgirls) and Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City, What a Girl Wants). The ensemble cast also features Zendaya, House of Cards’ Paul Yates, and Life’s Rebecca Ferguson.
I’m hopeful that the song that plays in this trailer is not one of the original songs in the musical, as it is pretty cheesy and terrible. But if the movie is bad, at least it’s a bad movie about good things happening to Hugh Jackman, who deserves it. For what it’s worth, the songs were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won the Tony for Best Musical for Dear Evan Hansen three weeks ago.
The Greatest Showman opens in wide release this Christmas.