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Watch Hugh Jackman Launch Circus in ‘The Greatest Showman’ Trailer

‘Logan’ star portrays wide-eyed P.T. Barnum in preview of biopic-musical

Circus pioneer P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) inspires a crew of diverse performers to help him “invent” show business in the debut trailer for musical biopic The Greatest Showman.

After being laid off from his job in early 1800s Connecticut, the charming businessman faces a life of poverty with his wife (Michelle Williams) and two daughters. “This is not the life I promised you,” Barnum tells his family. “Not even close.” But he’s inspired to reverse his fortunes and recruits his cast of entertainers piece by piece – from trapeze artists to fire-breathers to a bearded lady.

The preview offers a decidedly optimistic spin on Barnum’s aims for his company, Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth. Throughout the clip, the circus showman offers inspirational platitudes (“Every one of us is special, and nobody is like anyone else,” “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else”) which drill home the uplifting goals of his show.

The Greatest Showman, which hits theaters on Christmas Day, marks the directorial debut of commercial director and visual effects coordinator Michael Gracey. The film’s ensemble cast includes Zac Efron, Zendaya, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Natasha Liu Bordizzo and Rebecca Ferguson, and the movie features original songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who recently won the Best Musical Tony for Dear Evan Hansen

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