Must everything from my childhood be turned into a film? Entrepreneur Phineas Taylor Barnum will be the focus of a feature film written by Moneyball scribe Stan Chervin. As you may know, P.T. Barnum is known for creating the tag line “The Greatest Show On Earth,” referring to the circus show he produced. According to First Showing, Columbia Pictures have acquired the rights to a pitch that will chronicle the early days of the famous circus showman.
Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth is a phrase recognized by generations from yesterday and today. Barnum was as shopkeeper who entered the circus business at the ripe old age of 61. His first show was entitled “P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome”. This planted the seeds for the epic circus that would become world renown in the future. This untitled film project will be produced by Todd Gardner, who is currently working on the Nicolas Cage flick, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
A good film to watch that correlates with this story is Cecil B. DeMille‘s 1952 classic The Greatest Show on Earth. It won the Best Picture Oscar for that year and starred Charlton Heston as a circus manager, and James Stewart as a clown named Buttons. It’s a pretty good film, and it has the same vibe to it. It isn’t a biopic but it does follow Barnum and Bailey’s circus, after it merged with the Ringling Brothers. You get to see all the circus acts, the drama, and the danger that ensued behind the scenes.
I’m not completely against this film, because I don’t know much about Barnum and his early business ventures. As long as there is a strong script and good direction I think this can turn out to be pretty decent.
What do you think about a biopic based on P.T. Barnum?