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?

More from EW.com:
Hugh Jackman’s plans include Wolverine sequel and Houdini musical: Pick one!

Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • rucookie

    The man can shine with an “okay” script (See the Boy from OZ). If all these names produce something good, he will make it amazing.

    Can’t wait!

  • mawhi

    there is way too much ridiculata in that sentence.

  • Jamie

    Since Houdini died on Halloween, the best date to bring him back to life on Broadway would be Halloween of 2011. Given the talent, it would have to work hard to not be a hit.

  • klw

    if Danny Elfman composes then I am so there

  • therealeverton

    We might have jiggle around our planned holiday in the states to see this.Jackman is a born theatre performer and Elfman is an outstanding composer. Sorkin aint bad either.

  • ms

    What a team-up!! Jackman and Elfman! Wow! Of course I’m excited!

  • Cindy

    Cannot wait to see this. I am there! Love Hgh Jackman

  • applause

    Hugh Jackman in a live performance is unmatchable!

    Add to that a topnotch creative team… this is going to be a Broadway producer’s dream!

  • Gina

    Slater? Hm…

    And we’re just gonna have to see about Sorkin and Elfman. I love their existing work but Broadway’s a different monster. A very complicated monster, but if done properly can be an absolutely amazing piece of art. Musical theatre really doesn’t get proper respect these days. Then again, good shows usually get an early boot and “leave your brain at the door” shows last forever. Nevertheless, theatre still deserves more; if it did, maybe the aforementioned wouldn’t happen as often.

  • Critique

    I am so looking forward to this! Hugh Jackman is one of the greatest performers I’ve ever seen on Broadway! He can do anything!

  • Gabriel A Marin

    We heard you will be doing a production of Houdini, which as far as we know, presently, has no music, and no libretto. A fantastic production for the live stage has already been written. The music is sublime, a long time obsession and dream of William Scott Duffield. Houdini was showcased at the Goodspeed Opera House, in CT to great reviews, in 1997. We will sincerely say this Houdini is awesome. Greatly written with love and passion and ready to go. Only the backing is missing for production. Further, in our humble opinion, there can be no better version of this great story. Will you take a few seconds of your very valuable time to look into this and see that you do not agree that this is the ONLY Houdini that needs to come into national light and consciousness. You won’t regret it.

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