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Hugh Jackman Musical Film to Open Christmas 2016

The Tony-winning actor will portray the legendary circus man P.T. Barnum.

Hugh Jackman will star as P.T. Barnum in the musical film The Greatest Showman on Earth, opening Christmas Day 2016.
(© David Gordon)

After years of waiting, 20th Century Fox has finally set a date for the release of its upcoming movie musical The Greatest Showman on Earth. Leading the cast will be Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman, who currently stars in The River on Broadway.

The studio announced a 2016 Christmas Day opening — a strategy that seems to have worked well for Disney's latest musical venture, Into the Woods. The Greatest Showman on Earth follows American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The film is written by Oscar winner Bill Condon (Chicago, Side Show) and directed by Michael Gracey. It will feature songs by Tony-nominated composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story), with additional song contributions by Bonnie McKee, Brian Lapin, and Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears. Condon replaced Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks, who was originally announced as the project's screenwriter.

Studio heads are aiming to begin filming in New York by summer 2015.