NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hugh Jackman, who has recently been smashing records on Broadway with his one-man show, will return as escape artist Harry Houdini in the musical “Houdini,” producers said on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old actor, who began his career on stage before landing Hollywood roles in movies such as the “X-Men” series, will star in the musical expected to debut in the 2013-14 season that will be written by Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin.
Jackman said in a statement: “I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life. I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game.”
The musical, which producers said is a contemporary look at the life and death of the Hungarian-born American musician and stunt performer, will be composed by “Wicked” musician Stephen Schwartz and directed by Jack O’Brien.
Sorkin, who will make his Broadway writing debut, said the musical “tells the story of an epic battle that took place between the world’s greatest illusionist and a trio of women, known as ‘Spiritualists’.”
Jackman’s latest Broadway show, “Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway,” grossed more than $14.6 million for its ten-week run that ended earlier this week. He has long been dubbed one of the most bankable Broadway stars.
The Australian-born actor began his career on stage in Melbourne, Australia, before earning international acclaim in the lead role of “Oklahoma!” in London and later as singer Peter Allen in the hit musical, “The Boy from Oz” and hosting multiple Tony Awards.
Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant