Aaron Sorkin writing Hugh Jackman's Houdini musical: Composer Danny Elfman has 'high hopes' | EW.com

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Aaron Sorkin writing Hugh Jackman's Houdini musical: Composer Danny Elfman has 'high hopes'


danny-elfmanImage Credit: Solarpix/PR Photos; Everett CollectionWe’ve heard precious little about Houdini, the Broadway musical starring Hugh Jackman as the famed magician since word of its potential existence first got out in 2008. But an impressive creative team has quietly assembled around the project, including playwright Aaron Sorkin, composer Danny Elfman, lyricist Glenn Slater, and director Jack O’Brien – and despite repeated delays, Elfman says work on Houdini is now well underway.

“I’ve written music on and off for two years already,” Elfman tells EW. “It’s such a different process [from my film scoring work]. For me, it’s taking forever. But other people say, ‘Oh, no, you’ve only been on that a couple of years, that’s nothing!’”

Elfman spent the last week in New York meeting with Sorkin, O’Brien, Slater, and a producer to discuss the show. “Right now Aaron Sorkin is writing,” says the composer. “He’s writing away, and we all have high hopes that Aaron’s going to come through and do some good stuff.”

Next up is a first reading of the script, scheduled for January. After that, Elfman estimates that the show could open in early 2012 – though we wouldn’t be surprised to see it on Broadway even sooner if the reading goes well. “I’m just trying to go with it and learn,” says Elfman. “Hopefully [the show] will happen, but I know that there are so many things that need to still happen, and reasons why it may or may not. I just try to take an attitude of, ‘If it happens, great, and if it doesn’t, I’ll have learned what it’s like working on a Broadway musical.’”

Would you be excited to see Hugh Jackman play a singing Houdini on Broadway? (As a colleague here at PW HQ points out, Jackman already proved he’s right for that type of part with The Prestige.) What do you think of the other big names involved in Houdini?

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