20th century Fox just released the first images from the upcoming musical, The Greatest Showman. The original musical is based on the life of P.T. Barnum and follows him from his poverty-stricken childhood to the launch of his first circus in New York.

The movie was originally a traditional biopic but changed into a musical following a suggestion from director Michael Gracey. “I said, ‘If you’re going to call it The Greatest Showman, you should play to your strengths and we should make it a musical,’” the director tells EW. “That ridiculous remark cost me seven years of my life.”

Hugh Jackman stars as Barnum alongside Zac Efron, who plays Barnum’s business partner. That character in turn falls in love with a trapeze artist played by Zendaya. Michelle Williams co-stars as Barnum’s wife Charity.

“We were clear from the beginning that this wouldn’t feel like a period movie or a historical piece,” Jackman says. “What would Barnum do now? I have an almost-12-year-old daughter. I wanted [the movie] to be as exciting for her as listening to Katy Perry’s new song.” While that ahistorical take may be a bit grating to some, I think it could work if the music is good. Also, how grumpy do you have to be to argue, “Well this doesn’t sound like music from the mid-1800s at all, and I know my mid-1800s music!”

There is no trailer as of yet so all we have for now are the first stills courtesy of EW where we see Jackman embody the part of Barnum. Soon we shall see, once again, how he handles the musical pieces.




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