×

James Mangold Helped Oversee ‘Greatest Showman’ Reshoots, Post-Production (EXCLUSIVE)

James Mangold came to the aid of his old pal Hugh Jackman at a critical moment during the making of “The Greatest Showman.” The “Logan” director was enlisted to help oversee a week of reshoots on the lavish movie musical last fall after 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the film, became concerned that Michael Gracey was overwhelmed with the scope of the picture.

Gracey, who is making his feature film directorial debut with “The Greatest Showman,” had an extensive resume of commercials work, but struggled to adjust to the pressure of calling the shots on an $84 million film. It was also determined that he could use a veteran’s assistance with the post-production process.

To that end, Mangold helped edit the picture. He was given an executive producer credit for his work and was paid a seven-figure salary for his contributions.

A source close to the studio disputed any notion that Gracey had lost control of the picture. The source said that Gracey directed all of the principal photography and the re-shoots, noting that the filmmaker was on the set and in the editing bay throughout the production. Mangold’s input, though extensive, was likened to more of an advisory role.

Mangold’s selection made sense on several levels. He had handled musical numbers in 2005’s “Walk the Line” and enjoys a long association with Jackman. The two men have worked together on three films — “Logan,” “The Wolverine,” and “Kate & Leopold.”

Popular on Variety

The film’s testing improved after reshoots were incorporated.

“The Greatest Showman” opened Wednesday and is one of Fox’s big holiday season offerings. It centers on P.T. Barnum, the legendary circus promoter, and his rise from street urchin to society fixture. Along with Jackman, the cast includes Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Michelle Williams. Reviews for the film have been mixed, with some critics dinging the picture for its plotting and pacing, but it did pick up three Golden Globe nominations, including a nod for best musical or comedy. Audiences also seem to like the movie better than reviewers, having handed it an A CinemaScore.

Gracey worked on the picture for seven years, as “Greatest Showman” struggled to get a greenlight. He first met Jackman on the set of a 2010 Lipton Iced Tea commercial.

Mangold and Fox both declined to comment on this article.

Ramin Setoodeh contributed to this article. 

More Film

  • Mike Lowrey (WILL SMITH), Marcus Burnett

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Crossing $100 Million Worldwide

    Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led action series, ruled over the global box office and is expected to cross the $100 million mark through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The threequel, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, scored $38.6 million overseas, along [...]

  • The Case

    Bac Films Closes Deals on Psychological Thriller 'The Case'

    Bac Films has closed several deals on Bernard Stora’s “The Case,” a psychological thriller set in the South of France starring Niels Arestrup (“At Eternity’s Gate,” “A Prophet”). The film had its market premiere at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a five-day showcase of French movies wrapping on Jan. 20. Arestrup stars [...]

  • #iamhere

    Gaumont Clinches Deals on French-Korean Romcom '#iamhere' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gaumont has clinched a raft of deals on Eric Lartigau’s Korea-set romantic comedy #iamhere which had its market premiere at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French cinema in Paris. Headlined by Alain Chabat (“Valerian”) and Bae Doona (“Sense8”), the film was penned by Lartigau and Thomas Bidegain (“Sisters Brothers”). Chabat stars as a prominent French chef [...]

  • Mike (WILL SMITH), Marcus (MARTIN LAWRENCE)

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Towers Over 'Dolittle,' '1917'

    Universal’s “Dolittle” and “1917” found out what “Bad Boys” will do when they come for you at the box office. Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” the third entry in the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led series, beat expectations and towered over the competition during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. “Bad Boys for Life” earned [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content