P.T. Barnum's circus was known as the Greatest Show on Earth, and based on the new trailer for The Greatest Showman, the film version of his life is going to try and live up to that name. The new trailer for the upcoming movie makes the circus look like the biggest spectacle you've ever seen. Hugh Jackman is in his element as the title character. Check out the new trailer below.
The first trailer for The Greatest Showman, while it focused strongly on the music, didn't really draw attention to the fact that it's actually a musical. In contrast, this trailer opens with Hugh Jackman singing, and includes several moments of people breaking into song, making it obvious to anybody that missed it the first time that this is a movie musical. Since the movie clearly wants to be a massive extravaganza of a movie, the musical aspect only helps to emphasize that.
The Greatest Showman stars Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum and tells some version of a story about how he founded his famous circus. The story of the film seems to be focused on the characters that made up his famous, or infamous, sideshow. Barnum is portrayed as a champion of the marginalized who wants to spotlight those who are different from everybody else. While this isn't exactly the traditional way that the circus creator is portrayed, it will almost certainly work better a big holiday movie.
From a filmmaking perspective the most interesting thing about The Greatest Showman may be that, while it's a period piece, the music being featured appears to all be much more modern than what we'd expect in a traditional musical. It could certainly still work. The use of modern music worked for Moulin Rouge, but that movie's hyper-stylized design allowed them to get away with a lot that might not have worked otherwise. The Greatest Showman looks like a more traditional musical outside of the soundtrack. It's difficult to tell from these brief clips how well the modern music really fits with the look of a very different time.
The fact that The Greatest Showman has music with lyrics by one of the songwriters of La La Land, last year's big musical that almost won Best Picture certainly isn't a bad thing. That movie was a massive box office success, especially considering its relatively small size. If this film is able to scale up and do as well, it could be a massive hit. Anybody who has been waiting for another musical since last Christmas now has exactly what they've been waiting for. The Greatest Showman is set to open on December 20.