ByPhoenix Rook, writer at
Phoenix Rook

Musicals are a magical experience whether seen on stage or in theaters. We often get to see both when smash Broadway plays make their way to the big screen. It's always fun to see these stories through a different platform, but there's something refreshing and exhilarating when an original live-action movie musical is released. La La Land danced it's way through theaters in 2016 and now, one year later, we get The Greatest Showman. This could be the start of an amazing resurrection in Hollywood. If proves to be a smash hit, then more of these musicals could be on their way.

The Golden Age of Movie Musicals

'Singin in the Rain' [Credit: MGM]
'Singin in the Rain' [Credit: MGM]

Original live-action musicals have always been an amazing part of cinematic history, but they've faded from Hollywood's lineups. We have to go all the way back to the '30s, '40s and '50s to find them, to a time when classics such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and of course, Singin' in the Rain (1952) made their mark on the film industry. There's something magical about watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire waltz across the screen or Judy Garland sing about a land somewhere over the rainbow. To this day, jaws still drop in awe at Gene Kelly's unrivaled tap dancing skills. This was a mythical era in Hollywood history that we thought was gone forever — until now. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm thrilled to introduce The Greatest Showman.

The Greatest Showman

'The Greatest Showman' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'The Greatest Showman' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Arriving on Christmas Day 2017, The Greatest Showman centers around the creation of show business by the infamous P. T. Barnum. The trailer strikes a hopeful note with the belief that we can become anything we want to be despite our struggles. Infuse that message with a profound theme of accepting one another's differences and you have all the makings of an uplifting story.

The Greatest Showman features original songs written by the same geniuses who mesmerized us in La La Land — the Academy Award wining duo Ben Pasek and Justin Paul. Let's not forget to mention the incredibly talented cast of Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya. Plus, we get to celebrate Zac Efron's return to musicals after a nearly 10 year break from singing and dancing. It'll be fun to see how he's developed as a performer since his High School Musical and Hairspray days.

Modern Day Musical

'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]
'La La Land' [Credit: Summit Entertainment]

Now don't get me wrong, there have been many wonderful musical films created over the last few decades. However, most are either remakes of Broadway plays (Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music), consist mostly of popular songs (Moulin Rouge, Mamma Mia) or are animated (anything Disney), all of which are still marvelous. But out of all these musicals, only a handful are entirely original. When The Greatest Showman arrives in theaters, we will be experiencing everything for the first time, just like we would've 75 years ago.

With La La Land and now The Greatest Showman, we are hopefully entering a new age of original live-action musicals with more classics in the making. If La La Land is any indication, then the possibilities for The Greatest Showman and all the movies that come after are incredible.

What's your favorite movie musical? Tell us in the comments.

(Source: 20th Century Fox)


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