“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else,” says Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum in the trailer for The Greatest Showman, an unusual musical biopic about Barnum and his incredible circus and museum of “freaks.” (His word for them, not mine.) The film has been a longtime passion project for Jackman, who is fascinated by Barnum and loves musicals (he’s starred in several Broadway shows, and won a Tony Award for his work in The Boy From Oz). Not too many Hollywood superheroes moonlight as song-and-dance men, but hey it’s like Barnum said, you don’t make a difference by going with the flow.

Here is the movie’s official synopsis:

Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

And there’s a new poster for the film as well, which hypes the fact that the movie’s songs come from “the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land”:


I am not a circus scholar, but I’m not sure the real Barnum was quite as woke as the one that Jackman is playing here. I imagine there will be plenty of “Here’s how accurate The Greatest Showman Is” articles that tell us about the historical Barnum and whether he syncs up with Jackman’s fictional portrayal. Here’s one I know for sure right off the bat: The real Barnum did not do this singing in bars and during his performances. That’s artistic license for you. The Greatest Showman opens in theaters on December 20.

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