The project has been in development since 2009 with Jackman attached. The contemporary musical is being produced by Chernin Entertainment, Laurence Mark and Jackman.
Zac Efron and Michelle Williams are also in negotiations for the project. Michael Gracey is attached to direct from Michael Arndt’s script.
Jackman will play the showman with a specialty in hoaxing a gullible public as he creates the three-ring Barnum & Bailey Circus that made him famous. Barnum gained fame as a 19th century impresario with tours of Tom Thumb and the singer Jenny Lind; he began calling it the “Greatest Show on Earth” near the end of his career.
Efron would play Barnum’s right-hand man. Williams will play Jackman’s love interest and Zendaya will play a trapeze artist.
Zendaya stars in Disney Channel’s “K.C. Undercover ” and is the female lead opposite Tom Holland in Sony-Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” She is repped by CAA and Monster Talent Management.