Five years after actor Hugh Jackman was first attached to star as P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman on Earth, 20th Century Fox is finally moving forward on the project, which is eyeing a summer production start.
The project will be the first original live action movie musical since Disney's Newsies debuted 22 years ago in 1992. Director Michael Gracey signed on to direct back in August 2011, with Bill Condon (The Fifth Estate) providing the most recent draft of the screenplay. Other writers have worked on the script over the years, including Jenny Bicks (Never Been Kissed) and Jordan Roberts (Big Hero 6).
The story follows P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) as he literally invents show business and the three-ring circus. The showman had a penchant for pulling elaborate hoaxes on the gullible public before the three-ring circus took off. Earlier reports revealed that the story will also follow Barnum's infatuation with Swedish singer Jenny Lind, but it isn't known if that aspect of the story has remained after the new draft by Bill Condon.
Laurence Mark is producing, with original music provided by Justin Paul & Benz Pasek, Bonnie McKee, Jake Shear and Brian Lapin.