Bill Condon Set to Rewrite THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ON EARTH Starring Hugh Jackman; John Ridley to Pen MGM’s BEN-HUR Reboot

     October 24, 2013

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Check out today’s screenwriter news for the following films:

  • The Greatest Showman on EarthBill Condon (Dreamgirls) will rewrite Fox’s contemporary musical biopic of P.T. Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Michael Gracey.
  • Ben-Hur – MGM’s reboot of the Biblical-era epic will be scripted by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) for director Timur Bekmambetov.

Hit the jump for more.

THR bill_condonreports that Condon will rewrite The Greatest Showman on Earth.  The picture centers on “the legendary showman who created the three-ring circus and loved to hoax a gullible public. A focal point of the movie is Barnum’s infatuation with opera singer Jenny Lind, dubbed the Swedish Nightingale. No actress is attached to that role yet”.  Condon will rewrite the original draft from Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City).  Condon will next direct the Sherlock Holmes picture, A Slight Trick of the Mind, starring Ian McKellen.

Deadline reports that Ridley has signed on to write the Ben-Hur reboot.  MGM previously acquired a script from screenwriter Keith Clarke, adapted from Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.” “The story focuses on the years prior to those portrayed the 1959 film, centering on the characters Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem, and his childhood friend Messala, who returns home as a commanding officer of the Roman legions and betrays the Ben-Hur family.”  In addition to 12 Years a Slave, which opens in wide release in the States November 1st, Ridley recently premiered his Jimi Hendrix biopic, All Is by My Side, which he both wrote and directed.

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