Jackman to Play Barnum in ‘Greatest Showman on Earth’

Hugh Jackman is attached to play P.T. Barnum in Fox’s The Greatest Showman on Earth, an original contemporary musical to be written by Jenny Bicks. Variety reports that Laurence Mark, Jackman and his Seed partner John Palermo will produce.

Mark and Jackman worked together on the Oscars this year, which Jackman hosted and Mark exec-produced. Bicks was part of the Emmy-nominated writing team.

Jackman will play the showman who is often credited with coining the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute” — he did not in fact come up with the saying, but he promoted hoaxes and found the big-top extravaganza that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The musical will also focus on Barnum’s infatuation with singer Jenny Lind. Anne Hathaway is being eyed for that role.

The studio is in talks with British singer-songwriter Mika to write music and lyrics.

Jackman, who won the Tony Award for The Boy from Oz, is determined to make several screen musicals including a David Magee-scripted Carousel remake at Fox 2000. Jackman also wants Hathaway as his female lead in the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic.

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