Bill Condon Set To Script Hugh Jackman Movie Musical THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH
DREAMGIRLS movie musical stage-to-screen writer/director and upcoming SIDE SHOW revised revival helmer Bill Condon has set his sights on another musical project: contributing a new script to the in-development Hugh Jackman movie musical THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH, based on the life and career of master entertainer PT Barnum.
Condon is already set to direct his previous GODS & MONSTERS star Sir Ian McKellen in the Sherlock Holmes-themed A SLIGHT TRICK OF THE MIND next year and will polish the previous script for THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH, originally penned by SEX & THE CITY scribe Jenny Bicks, prior to embarking on that project as director.
Michael Gracey is set to direct THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH, which also offers a historically-based leading lady role to counter the central performance intended for Jackman as Barnum, that of real-life opera diva Jenny Lind.
Of course, the life story of PT Barnum has successfully been presented onstage before, with Jim Dale and Glenn Close starring in the hit Cy Coleman/Michael Stewart musical BARNUM in the early 1980s, later presented on video via the West End mounting with Michael Crawford in the title role, and the story has made its way to celluloid over the decades, as well, with the title of this new film project alluding most notably to 1952's Oscar-winning circus-set THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.
Additionally, Jackman recently remarked on THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH as part of an interview on the promotional tour for THE WOLVERINE, first addressing the project by stating, "There's a few things on the horizon, but I really don't know what is next," when pressed on choosing this or the long-aborning HOUDINI stage musical.
"Yeah, Barnum has been on IMDB for about four years... and, I thought it would stay in sort of inactive development, to be honest," Jackman asserted.
In describing further details on the long-gestating movie musical project, Jackman said, "It's a movie musical about Barnum called THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH."
Concluding, Jackman said, "New musicals are very difficult, but just recently it has taken a real turn and there is real momentum, so watch this space."
Watch we did, Hugh - and now comes this sensational news just a few weeks later!
Check out BroadwayWorld's previous update on the project here.
View the original article on the matter confirming Condon's involvement here.