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Since 2009, Hugh Jackman and 20th Century Fox have been trying to get The Greatest Showman On Earth off of the ground and in front of the cameras. It's been a hard seven years for the project, which is a musical based off of the life of famous circus pioneer P.T. Barnum, though things might be getting easier, if the latest rumors are true. Those rumors are hinting at fellow music man Zac Efron circling a role alongside Jackman, turning this film into a spectacle for the young and old alike.
The news came down from Variety, as they had picked up on the initial word of negotiations between Efron and 20th Century Fox. Naturally, the studio has not made a comment confirming or denying the talks, and as such there's no idea as to who Zac Efron would be playing. Hugh Jackman, on the other hand, has long been penciled in to play P.T. Barnum ever since the project started, and will presumably maintain said role moving forward.
The Greatest Showman On Earth would be a return to form for both Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman, as both have built a good part of their careers with musical theater projects. Efron's return is especially poignant, as he started his career with The Disney Channel's High School Musical series, as well as with his lead role in the film adaptation of the musical Hairspray. It's been eight years since we've seen him cut a rug and belt a tune on the big screen, as his career evolved into one that mostly centered around roles in comedies like That Awkward Moment, Dirty Grandpa, and, of course, the Neighbors films.
Hugh Jackman, on the other hand, has had a much shorter interim, thanks to Les Miserables snagging him as Jean-Valjean back in 2012. Though, if you want to get technical, the last time we saw Jackman singing on screen was in his short cameo in Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, which saw him playing the role of King Arthur in a fictional West End revival of Camelot. Of course, this list of musical achievements wouldn't be complete without Hugh Jackman's Tony award winning role in the 2004 production The Boy From Oz, the crowning credit that pretty much sums up why this project has been alive for so long. Jackman loves musicals, and 20th Century Fox loves Jackman, so obviously all of those X-Men appearances have come with a sort of hidden cost.
The Greatest Showman On Earth was supposed to have been released this December, but seeing as production hasn't been started, and leads are still signing on, we'd think that late 2018 would be a more fitting release window for proposed musical. Though anything can happen with a project that's served out this long of a sentence in limbo, and should anything change, we'll bring those updates as fast as possible.