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Hugh Jackman to Star in Movie Musical Carousel Remake?

Variety reports that the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel may soon be receiving a movie musical remake--as a vehicle for Tony Award-winner Hugh Jackman.

Jackman would produce the Carousel remake with his Seed Productions partner John Palermo.  If the project goes through, Jackman will take on the role of Billy Bigelow, the New England carnival barker whose love for Julie Jordan ends tragically in a robbery attempt, and who is given the chance to redeem his soul by intervening in the life of his troubled daughter.  Jackman has previously played the role in the 2002 Carnegie Hall concert of Carousel.

Seed Productions is currently negotiating with the Rodgers and Hammerstein organization for the musical rights.  Carousel, of course, features music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics and book by Oscar Hammerstein II (who based it upon Ferenc Molnar's Liliom).

Carousel, which ran for 890 performance after opening on Broadway in 1945 in a production starring John Raitt and Jan Clayton, was made into a movie musical by Fox in 1956.  It starred Gordon MacRae as Billy and Shirley Jones as Julie; Henry King directed the colorful film.  Carousel's score includes "If I Loved You," "June Is Busting Out All Over," "Soliloquy" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

The multi-talented Jackman is currently nominated for an Emmy for hosting the 2005 Tony Awards; he had previously won an Emmy for hosting the 2004 ceremony. He was also nominated for the 1998 Olivier for Best Actor in a Musical for his Curly in the Royal National Theatre's Oklahoma! A musical theatre veteran back in Australia, he played Joe Gillis in the 1996 production of Sunset Boulevard in Melbourne, and Gaston in 1995's Beauty and the Beast.  Film credits include Scoop, X-Men films, Someone Like You and Van Helsing.  X-Men: The Last Stand was released in May, and Jackman will also reprise his role as Wolverine in a spin-off movie of the same name.  Other upcoming films include Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain, and an untitled film that will be directed by Baz Luhrmann.

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