Hugh Jackman heads up a fantastic cast in The Greatest Showman—could he be coaxed into playing P.T. Barnum on Broadway? Photo by Niko Tavernise, Courtesy Polk & Co.

The Greatest Showman Might Just Be Heading to Broadway

By the time the credits rolled on The Greatest Showman, I was absolutely convinced: This show is screaming to be a stage musical. A determinedly uplifting take on the life of P.T. Barnum (yes, the circus guy), played by Broadway alum/Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman, the movie musical is filled to bursting with ear-catching tunes by songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and endlessly entertaining choreography by Ashley Wallen.


After opening in December to a disappointing $8.8 million box office on opening weekend (Hollywood, if you're reading this, dance could totally use some of your funding), word-of-mouth and the aforementioned bound-to-get-stuck-in-your-head soundtrack has put the film on the road to becoming one of the most successful movie musicals of all time. And in the midst of the film's growing success, 20th Century Fox is talking about adapting The Greatest Showman into a Broadway musical, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Obviously, this is very, very, very early—the movie is still in theaters (with singalong screenings for those of you who already know the songs by heart), and getting any musical to the Great White Way is a process that takes years at best. (Though having a Billboard-chart-topping album by the duo behind last season's Broadway smash-hit Dear Evan Hansen certainly won't hurt.)

And in the meantime, we can dream about the eventual cast. Jackman, who was involved with this passion project from the beginning, could probably be coaxed into headlining the stage version. And if Zac Efron and Zendaya are too busy in Hollywood, how about Jeremy Jordan (who was involved in workshops for the film) and Denée Benton? Plus, we have a feeling there would be room for a lot of dancers.

Here's hoping that 1) It happens, and 2) The process of getting it to Broadway is shorter than the nearly-eight years it took for The Greatest Showman to land in theaters.

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July 2021