August 4, 2009 / 9:46 PM / 10 years ago

Hugh Jackman gets his movie musical wish

Singer Beyonce Knowles performs with show host Hugh Jackman during the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Australian actor Hugh Jackman, who this year showed the world his song-and-dance prowess as host of the Oscars, will get his wish to star in a movie musical when he plays showman P.T. Barnum in an upcoming film.

Twentieth Century Fox said on Tuesday that Jackman will star in “The Greatest Showman on Earth,” but the studio has not set a start date for production or scheduled a release for the film about the 19th century traveling circus promoter.

Jackman told Reuters in April that he wanted to star in a movie musical, a genre that hit its peak in 1930s Hollywood and has surfaced only sporadically in recent years’ movies like “Hairspray” and “Mamma Mia!”

While he is best known for playing superhero Wolverine in the “X-Men” movies, Jackman starred in a 1999 television movie version of the stage musical “Oklahoma!”

He won a Tony, Broadway’s highest honor, in 2004 for his role in musical “The Boy from Oz,” and his turn hosting the Tony Awards helped convince Oscar organizers to hire him as host of that Hollywood awards show this past February.

The actor was the first non-comedian to host the Oscars in more than two decades. He brought Broadway glitz to the telecast by opening with a musical salute to the best picture nominees, and later by singing and dancing opposite Beyonce.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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