Movies being turned into Broadway extravaganzas are all the rage these days, as we’ve seen with shows like Mean Girls, School of Rock, and Pretty Woman. And if Hugh Jackman has any control over it, his film from last year, The Greatest Showman, will make the leap to the stage as well.
In an interview with Vulture, he commented, “Yes, I am interested, for sure. When we were putting this together, we workshopped it like we would a Broadway show. My theatrical bones know that that would work.” He added to The New York Times, “There’s a lot of people working on what a live version of that would be. Is it something that’s on the West End or in Vegas? Is it a touring tent show? Is it an arena spectacular? All I know is when we were in the room during those workshops, you get a really keen sense if it’s going to work in a theater. And I know it will work. I just know the power.”
In The Greatest Showman, Hugh plays P.T. Barnum, who lived from 1810 to 1891 and is the man who ushered in the idea and the age of the three-ring circus (among his many other accomplishments, including politician and businessman). He also set the stage for everything that circuses have evolved into, from animal acts and human “oddities” (in years past known as “circus freaks”) to feats of athletic and creative performances. P.T. was also one of the country’s first self-made millionaires and served as a visionary of mass entertainment aimed to set the imagination free.
“Barnum was a little bit of an oddity himself growing up,” Hugh said at the time of the film’s release. “He believed that what makes you different makes you special. That resonates with me in a huge way — and I think everybody can relate to it, particularly young kids. That’s why I’m thrilled that the theme of this movie is that it is empowering and cool just to be you.”