Everybody may have been wrong about Hugh Jackman. The general belief is that he would be best remembered for playing Wolverine in the X-Men superhero films, but it’s starting to look like that honor may go to his 2017 musical, The Greatest Showman — especially with word that he’s not only open to the idea of a sequel, but is apparently already doing development work on it.
In an interview with The Sun, Michael Gracey, who directed the first film and will be back for the second, comments, “When a movie becomes as big a success as this, it’s only natural there is a demand for a sequel. So those discussions have started and we are working on one right now.”
Previously appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live, Hugh was asked whether or not he was interested in reprising the role, to which he quickly replied, “If a genuine opportunity came up where it felt like the right thing to do, then, yep, I’d get the top hat back out.”
Prior to this, Hugh, 50, discussed the fact that The Greatest Showman could be en route to Broadway as well, with the actor pointing out, “When we were putting the film together, we workshopped it like we would a Broadway show. My theatrical bones know that that would work.”
On top of that, he’s preparing his one-man show, Hugh Jackman: The Man, The Music, The Show, which he’ll be taking on a world tour. In describing it, he offered, “It’s a one-man show with a 20-piece orchestra and about 30 singers and dancers. I’ll be doing songs from The Greatest Showman, from Les Mis, The Boy From Oz, and stuff that I auditioned for that I didn’t get cast.”
The greatest showman is actually P.T. (Phineas Taylor) Barnum — who lived from 1810 to 1891 — 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. His life attitude of being true to yourself in life is something Hugh has tried to live by as well and goes a long way in explaining his fascination with him.
“It’s not exaggerating to say that Barnum ushered in modern-day America,” Hugh points out, “and especially the idea that your talent, your imagination, and your ability to work hard should be the only things that determine your success. He knew how to make something out of nothing; how to turn lemons into lemonade. I’ve always loved that quality. He followed his own path and turned any setback he had into a positive. So many things I aspire to in my life are embodied in this one character.”