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Movie musicals tend to lend themselves pretty easily to the Broadway stage. It's easy to see the songs and theatrics playing out live, and most great musicals seem to make the jump to Broadway at some point or another. The latest musical to hit theaters is The Greatest Showman, the Hugh Jackman-led movie about the rise of P.T. Barnum's circus act. The big musical numbers and high-flying acts are making some wonder if a live-action show is in store for The Greatest Showman, and the director Michael Gracey thinks it would be a great idea.
When I was pitching the film, the great thing about doing a musical film is you have this amazing piece that could then go straight to Broadway. Instead of CG animals, you could do puppets like War Horse or The Lion King. I think that's an incredibly appealing idea. It would depend on the success of the film but I do believe it would make an incredible stage production.
The Greatest Showman follows the tale of P.T. Barnum, a poor family man who seeks a higher status in life. He finds his ticket to the big time when he recruits a group of misfits and oddballs with special talents to perform in his circus. It's full of romance, big songs, emotion, at at least one trapeze act, which means that it has all the things necessary to be a Broadway musical. Director Michael Gracey thinks that a stage show is not off the table for his first feature film. Gracey told Entertainment Weekly that he thinks his film would also make a great Broadway show. Certainly harder movies -- like those with talking lions -- have been successfully adapted for the stage, so there's no reason The Greatest Showman couldn't. It just depends on how successful the movie is.
While The Greatest Showman certainly does seem made to be a Broadway show, it all depends on the success of the movie. So far, it hasn't been really vibing with critics, who are giving mixed reviews. Even though the songs were written by La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen's Pasek and Paul, only a few of the numbers are getting much attention. However, it did score Golden Globe nominations and has an A Cinemascore, so at this point it could probably go either way. It likely needs a bit more time before it can start thinking about Broadway.
You can see if The Greatest Showman needs to be a play by seeing the movie first, which is out in theaters right now. Plenty of movies are on the way for the new year, so visits our 2018 movie guide to learn about them all.