He sings, he dances, he acts, and today Hugh Jackman will also blow out 44 candles in celebration of his birthday. American audiences got their first real taste of Jackman in "X-Men" in 2000. However, Hugh had been a professional working actor in Australia since about five years prior. For much of his movie career, Jackman has been either in high-octane action and adventure films or romantic comedies, so in 2004 when he hit the Broadway stage, some may have been a little surprised.
The "Swordfish" star was a natural for the stage though, and his performance in "The Boy From Oz" earned him a Tony award and started his mutual love affair with Broadway audiences. Since then, no one's been surprised when he pops up on an Oscar broadcast to sing and dance with Anne Hathaway, or pretty much anywhere else. He's a rare, five-tool threat as they say, and his future seems to just get brighter with every project he takes on.
So what's coming down the pipe for Hugh?
He's Going To Be Miserable - Jackman is starring in the highly-anticipated screen adaptation of one of the most beloved Broadway musicals, "Les Miserables." Hugh has the lead male role of Jean Valjean, and will share screen time with Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Russel Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and even "Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen. Tom Hooper, who directed the critically acclaimed and Oscar-winning "The King's Speech" was tapped to direct this production.
He'll Be Back in Familiar Territory - Next year, Jackman will once again be seen as Wolverine, the mutant from "X-men" with big sideburns, wild hair, and oh yeah, those massive metal claws on his hands. The new film is titled "The Wolverine" and it promises tons of action. It's being directed by James Mangold, who was at the helm for the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," which earned Reese Witherspoon an Academy Award in 2006.
He's Going To Be The Ring Leader, Literally - Details are still scarce, but Jackman is signed on to play circus legend P.T. Barnum in "The Greatest Showman On Earth." The film will be a biopic about the man who really helped put the traveling circus on the map and wove it deep into the fabric of our culture. Jenny Bicks, who wrote for "Sex in the City" and "The Big C" will be writing the screenplay and Michael Gracey will make his directorial debut on the film.
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