Hugh Jackman will play American showman P.T. Barnum in Twentieth Century Fox's The Greatest Showman on Earth, an original contemporary musical with screenplay by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City: The Movie).
According to Variety, the film will be produced by Laurence Mark (Dreamgirls), Jackman and his Seed partner John Palermo. It is an outgrowth of their work together on the 81st Academy Awards, on which Jackman was host, Mark was exec producer, and Bicks was part of the Emmy-nominated writing team.
Jackman will play the showman with a penchant for hoaxing a gullible public as he creates the three-ring circus that made him famous. The musical also focuses on his infatuation with singer Jenny Lind -- the so-called Swedish Nightingale.
The film will have a contemporary musical score, and the studio is in talks with British singer-songwriter Mika to write music and lyrics.
The musical follows the old Hollywood tradition in which tuners were scripted with specific actors in mind. The Lind role is being scripted for Anne Hathaway, who teamed with Jackman in his opening Oscars number.
No production date has been set.