A movie chronicling the life of Barnum & Bailey Circus founder P.T. Barnum has been in the works for quite a while now, but the project finally seems to be moving forward with the help of some additional star power.
Neighbors and Dirty Grandpa actor Zac Efron has reportedly joined Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman in the cast of The Greatest Showman on Earth, a biopic of Barnum set to star Jackman as the iconic circus founder, businessman, and all-around entrepreneur.
According to Variety, Efron’s role in the film is still unknown, but his addition to the cast should certainly help it finally get off the ground. The film has been been in the works since 2009, and is expected to be a musical feature depicting the famous showman’s life, career, and fascinating knack for pulling off hoaxes that fooled a gullible 19th-century public.
Set to be the directorial debut for visual-effects expert Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman on Earth is based on a script from Sex and the City screenwriter Jenny Bicks. The script will reportedly focus on Barnum’s creation of his three-ring circus and “his infatuation with ‘Swedish Nightingale’ Jenny Lind.”
20th Century Fox has yet to confirm Efron’s involvement, so the report remains a rumor at this point.
Both Efron and Jackman have a lot on their plates these days, with Efron recently appearing in the R-rated comedies Bad Grandpa and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, as well as next month’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and next year’s Baywatch movie. Jackman is currently filming his still-untitled third movie in the Wolverine franchise after making a cameo in the recent X-Men: Apocalypse as the character.
There’s no official word on when The Greatest Showman on Earth will begin production.