Though we still may be reeling from Hugh Jackman’s thrilling turn in Logan, the multi-faceted performer will soon be lighting up screens in a very, very different kind of movie. Today, a trailer dropped for The Greatest Showman, the long-in-development musical biopic of P.T. Barnum and the advent of his namesake circus. Watch it above.
Set in the 1800s, the film will follow Jackman’s Barnum on his journey from poor schlub to famed ringmaster. Michelle Williams co-stars as Barnum’s wife Charity, while Zac Efron will play his reticent business partner and singer/actor Zendaya will set his heart aflutter as an exotic trapeze artist. Rebecca Ferguson, Paul Sparks, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen round out the cast.
“Everyone was saying there hasn’t been an original musical in 23 years,” Jackman told EW about what he calls a passion project. “So the prevailing thought in Hollywood was, unless you have a brand people know, it’s not a done thing. So it just took a long time.”
As the trailer demonstrates, the period story’s original music will incorporate elements of modern pop to better appeal to the family audience it hopes to attract. “I have an almost-12-year-old daughter,” said Jackman. “I wanted [the movie] to be as exciting for her as Katy Perry’s new song.”
The Greatest Showman is directed by first-timer Michael Gracey and will open on Christmas Day.