In 2009, after Hugh Jackman‘s successful Oscar-hosting stint, Fox announced development of The Greatest Showman on Earth, a film about P.T. Barnum that would star Hugh Jackman as the classic American huckster and businessman. We’ve heard nothing about the project since, but it is still a concern over at Fox. And it isn’t just any old biopic — this is a musical, put together by John Palermo, Laurence Mark and screenwriter Jenny Bicks, all of whom worked on Jackman’s Oscar telecast.

Now a director has been hired: effects and commercial veteran Michael Gracey, who was recently set to direct Disney’s Snow White film The Order of the Seven.

Variety says that even with this hire, we probably won’t see a lot of forward movement on the film for some time as it has to queue behind The Wolverine and Les Miserables. But as long as this film is able to get out of the gate before Columbia’s rival Barnum film that should be fine.

Previous info we’d had about the project is that “Jackman will play the showman with a penchant for hoaxing a gullible public as he creates the three-ring circus that made him famous. The musical also focuses on his infatuation with singer Jenny Lind — the so-called Swedish Nightingale.” That part was being developed as a role for Anne Hathaway, but whether that remains the case is unknown. Variety says the role hasn’t been cast.

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