Zac Efron Eyeing Hugh Jackman’s ‘The Greatest Showman on Earth’
The Greatest Showman on Earth has been in development since 2009, with Hugh Jackman attached to play the role of iconic circus creator P.T. Barnum. Now that his time as Wolverine is coming to an end, the actor has a little more room on his schedule to tend to the long-gestating musical, which is close to lining up Jackman’s first co-star.
Variety reports that Zac Efron is in talks to star opposite Jackman in The Greatest Showman on Earth, a musical biopic about P.T. Barnum, the visionary hoax-master behind Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. Details on Efron’s potential role are unknown, but Jackman will play Barnum, who rose to fame in the 19th century when he purchased a museum and stocked it with fake curiosities like the “Feejee Mermaid” and “General Tom Thumb.” He would later add America’s first aquarium and a sizable collection of wax likenesses.
Barnum’s life is a fascinating one, and despite his work as an author and philanthropist, the self-proclaimed showman said his only goal in life was “to put money in his own coffers.” In addition to his work with the traveling circus and museum, Barnum served two terms in the Connecticut legislature, though most remember him best for creating “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Visual effects artist Michael Gracey will direct The Greatest Showman on Earth based on a script by Jenny Bicks of Sex and the City fame. Jackman is currently filming The Wolverine 3 for Fox, which is also backing the Barnum biopic, with the studio hoping that Efron’s casting will give the long-developing project the push it needs to get going.