Now that his tenure as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise has come to a close (though audiences won't see this until next year), Hugh Jackman is veering away from pure fiction to tell the life story of 19th century entertainer PT Barnum in the most grandiose way possible. Over the last couple months, The Greatest Showman on Earth has been building its cast to accompany Jackman as the eponymous historical figure, and today brings the news that Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation star Rebecca Ferguson will be joining the "show," too.
According to The Wrap, Ferguson will play Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, one of the most talented singers of the 1800s. She joins a cast that consists of Hugh Jackman as Barnum himself, Zac Efron as Barnum's right-hand man, Zendaya as a trapeze artist/Efron's character's love interest and Michelle Williams as Barnum's love interest. The real Jenny Lind was invited (and paid) by Barnum to perform concerts around the United States from 1850 to 1852, so we can presumably expect to see Ferguson's Lind to be involved in the same way, albeit with some creative liberties.
Following her big American movie debut playing Ergenia in 2014's Hercules, Rebecca Ferguson was propelled to worldwide fame playing MI6 agent Ilsa Faust in Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation, a role she's set to reprise for Mission Impossible 6. She can currently be seen as Kathleen in Florence Foster Jenkins, and her other upcoming projects include The Girl on the Train, The Snowman and Life. As expected for someone playing an opera singer, she has a musical background, as well as experience with dance. Since The Greatest Showman on Earth will be an elaborate musical, she should feel right at home with the rest of the other musically-talented actors.
Directed by Michael Gracey and written by Michael Arndt, The Greatest Showman on Earth is an original musical inspired by PT Barnum's life. The songs will be written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, who previously worked on stage musical adaptations of James and the Giant Peach and A Christmas Story. Barnum is most famous for co-founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus with James Anthony Bailey, which decades later merged with the Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows. His other accomplishment include being a politician, businessman and notorious hoax creator, but as the title clearly states, Barnum always be best remembered as a showman first.
The Greatest Showman on Earth is aiming to hit theaters in Christmas 2017, so stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all the relevant details about its progress. In the meantime, let us know what you think of Rebecca Ferguson's casting in the comments below.