The musical genre has seen very few moments of rebirth in cinema over the past couple years. We’ve had a handful of releases with varying results, from the mixed-to-positive Les Miserables and Into the Woods to the overwhelming critical acclaim of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. Unfortunately, in an era where the box office remains dominated by an overwhelming number of sequels and reboots, the inclusion of original films, let alone musicals, has been something of a rarity. The upcoming holiday release for Twentieth Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman, a musical biopic following the life of circus ringmaster P.T. Barnum, seems to offer that something new.
Today, Twentieth Century Fox released their trailer for The Greatest Showman, depicting how Barnum came to be the founder of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. The trailer shows Barnum struggling to provide work for his family, only to begin a new project: getting into “show business.” We then witness Barnum searching for numerous unique individuals for his circus spectacle, one where “nobody is like anybody else.” The trailer is set to the extremely catchy tune of Keala Settle’s “This is Me,” though its placement within the film’s time period does feel a bit off.
The film will star Hugh Jackman as the titular character — his natural charisma and vocal performances in films like Les Miserables make him an ideal candidate to portray Barnum. According to Deadline, Jackman made a surprise appearance at last week’s CineEurope Barcelona to introduce the film’s trailer, calling The Greatest Showman a film “about taking risks and celebrating what makes each and every one of us different, special and unique.”
The Greatest Showman is directed by Michael Gracey and is based on a script written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, with original songs written by La La Land lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It will star Jackman alongside Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. The film is set to release in theaters on Christmas Day, 2017.