Though Hugh Jackman is best known as Wolverine by the general public, musical fans and anyone who watches the Tonys knows that Jackman’s true passion is musical theater. His gig hosting the Tonys last night began with a strange hopping thing, with Jackman jumping kangaroo-style into the building, down the aisles, on the stage, behind the stage, and interacting in various capacities with the show’s upcoming performers (including last year’s host and this year’s Best Actor in a Musical winner Neil Patrick Harris.) The number was inspired by Bobby Van’s similarly bouncy scene in 1953′s Small Town Girls.
Jackman, who’s clawing his way through the screen (in 3D!) in this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past as the mutton-chopped mutant, has a diverse slate of upcoming projects. Jackman was supposed to appear in Lee Daniels’ Martin Luther King, Jr. drama Selma, which had been delayed several times, but Daniels was replaced by Ava DuVernay last summer. Jackman even gained 30 pounds for the role, which he then had to lose for Reel Steel. It remains to be seen who will be in the film, though it’s now on the fast-track to production.
The Greatest Showman on Earth, a biopic about the three-ring circus innovator P.T. Barnum, will feature Jackman in the title role. It’s one of the most promising roles on Jackman’s resume, since the man just loves showmanship, but has that dark streak running through most of his film roles (Prisoners, The Prestige, and the otherwise abysmal Les Mis.) Written by Bill Condon (the last two Twilight movies and an upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie starring Ian McKellen) and directed by special effects wiz Michael Gracey, the movie could be a whole lot of fun.
John Malkovich currently plays Blackbeard on the network TV show Crossbones, but Jackman actually has a black beard (on full display at the Tonys), and is set to play the facial hair sporting pirate in Joe Wright’s Pan, a sort of prequel to Peter Pan. Wright plans on exploring the backstories of several characters. Garrett Hedlund plays Hook, and Rooney Mara was controversially cast as Native American princess Tiger Lily, a character with blatantly racist origins (and Rooney Mara is, you know, white.) Jackman is also set to star in the broadway play The River this fall.