Well this is certainly something different. We cover a lot of trailers here but a live trailer for an upcoming movie is a new and a somewhat crazy concept, to boot. But that's exactly what we have today. The Greatest Showman hits theaters this Wednesday and in advance of the film's release, the film debuted a live commercial last night during Fox's A Christmas Story Live! airing. The two-and-a-half minute spot was the first of its kind and featured several of the film's stars, including Hugh Jackman. Check out the ambitious live trailer below:
So yeah, that must have been a bit of a logistical nightmare. This must have taken quite a few rehearsals to get right, honestly. The blocking, choreography and timing had to be spot-on for this to work. The fact that you don't really see any cameras in the preview, which was later released to Facebook, is amazing. This musical performance, while superficially similar to a stage play, had to be timed perfectly with camera movement while working within the very constrained, commercial block of time. Had Hugh Jackman dropped his hat or baton during a twirl, that split second recovery could have thrown the timing of the whole thing out of sync. Overall, this is a really fun trailer that does something different than the previous trailers and shows the legit musical talents of the film's cast and crew.
According to 20th Century Fox, the trailer had a seven figure budget and featured more than 200 dancers. The whole production, which took place during magic hour at Warner Bros. Studios, covered a quarter mile area. While incredibly elaborate, to my eyes the trailer was a success and perfect for musical fans interested in the film. The live trailer aired during Fox's broadcast presentation of A Christmas Story Live!, so the audience who did watch were already pre-disposed to liking live musicals. For those who skipped the broadcast and catch this trailer online later, it is perfectly suited to The Greatest Showman's intended audience and featured an original song from the film called "Come Alive."
The trailer was even directed by the film's director, Michael Gracey, along with Beth McCarthy-Miller. For fans who mainly know him as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman showed his roots and musical chops in this trailer, along with co-stars Zac Efron, Zendaya and Keala Settle. The Greatest Showman is a musical that celebrates the birth of show business and the life of showman and spectacle creator extraordinaire, P.T. Barnum. The film has already received some awards consideration, earning three Golden Globe nominations.
This kind of live trailer wouldn't work with 99.9% of other films but for a musical of this kind, it does. The film is about show business and spectacle and that's what this live trailer embodies. The Greatest Showman hits theaters this Wednesday, December 20th.