Hugh to Host ‘Christmas in Washington’

T’is the season to be jolly — and sing songs for the holidays. According to Entertainment Weekly, Hugh Jackman has been tapped to host TNT’s annual event, Christmas in Washington. The White House-sanctioned gala will be filmed on December 15th in Washington D.C..

Others scheduled to appear – and perform for President Obama and his family – include the Backstreet Boys, Sheryl Crow, Anna Kendrick, Janelle Monáe, and Train’s Pat Monahan. Charles Barkley is also slated to attend as a special appearance.

The holiday event will air on TNT December 20th.

Hugh Visits ‘Big Fish’ on Broadway

On November 13th, Hugh Jackman visited the company of Big Fish on Broadway. Once upon a time, Hugh was actually slated to appear in this musical adaptation of the Tim Burton film; however, the role eventually went to Norbert Leo Butz (who starred alongside Hugh in the Carnegie Hell performance of Carousel).

Also in attendance at Wednesday’s matinee was Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour (not pictured) and fellow Aussie Geoffrey Rush. (Remember: Hugh is currently rumored to be in talks to star in Rush’s upcoming movie-musical adaptation of The Drowsy Chaperone. Perhaps they talked more about it at yesterday’s run-in.)

EW Talks to Hugh About Wolverine, ‘Chappie,’ and Future Musicals

Entertainment Weekly recently spoke to Hugh Jackman, getting him to answer some much buzzed about topics such as another go at Wolverine, his upcoming film Chappie, and whether or not he’ll do some more movie-musicals. The entire article is a good read about his professional future, so I highly recommend checking it out (or at least the parts I underlined).

Just as The Wolverine claws its way toward DVD/Blu-ray on Dec. 3rd, talk is heating up about a possible sequel. For his part, star Hugh Jackman has neither confirmed nor denied whether he’ll sign on to play muttonchopped mutant Logan for an eighth time… but the odds are looking good. “I was on the phone with Jim Mangold last night,” Jackman told EW. “There are some really cool ideas that I’m dying to tell you, but that would be giving away a secret that is not even [fully] formed yet.”

Jackman insists that his lapsing contract with Fox, which reportedly will need to be renegotiated after X-Men: Days of Future Past premieres in May, doesn’t mean he’s leaving the franchise in limbo. “I started with a two-picture deal on the first two [X-Men films], and from that point on, it’s been movie by movie — not just me, but Fox and Jim and everyone,” he says. “I do want to do it with Jim and with [producer] Lauren Shuler-Donner because we had such a great experience. I’m really proud of The Wolverine.”

The star believes he’s mentally more committed to the character than he’s ever been. “I kind of am enjoying him more than ever… Being older helps playing Wolverine. He’s 200 or 300 years old — no one really knows — and he’s sort of world-weary. The actual working out gets harder and harder, I’ll admit.”

Still, Jackman insists the creative circumstances would have to be right for him to resume his grueling diet-and-exercise regimen in order to don the white tank top again: “I don’t want to dive into another one until we have a compelling reason to do another one,” says Jackman. “I love the character, he’s kind of like a best friend to me, and I don’t ever want to take [him] or the fans for granted […] I think we’ve got a great opportunity to make something really cool, but it has to be great. Thats what we’re all working toward.”

A Wolverine sequel isn’t the only thing in the coffers for Jackman, who will begin shooting Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie early next year (other principles in the film are already in production, he confirms). “It’s a very, very, very good script — very interesting,” he says of the sci-fi crime drama. “I can’t wait to work with Neill […] It’s going to surprise people in a lot of ways. He’s a real visionary.” Jackman reveals his character is named Vincent, and he’ll face off against Dev Patel’s Deon. Though the actors stand at equal height, Jackman’s weight advantage and extensive combat training gives hints that it might not be an entirely fair fight. “Good,” laughs the actor. “Crush him! I’m not in it for a close call.”

Beyond Chappie, Jackman is also still signed up for a biographical musical about Harry Houdini penned by Patel’s “Newsroom” scribe, Aaron Sorkin. Jackman might also take his soaring tenor (which scored him an Oscar nod for Les Misérables) back to the big screen to play caddish Latin lover Aldolpho in the adaptation of Tony-nominated The Drowsy Chaperone. “I loved the original production on Broadway — incredibly funny and terrific, great fun,” he recalls. “I was not sure how that would translate [to film], but the script at the moment is wonderful. I think they’re trying to put the movie together, I don’t think it’s fully together yet, but they are talking to me about it, and I’m very interested in it.”

The only musical for which he definitely won’t be running scales any time soon (or ever)? Ironically, one about Wolverine. That musical could one day come to the Great White Way, but “not with me,” vows Jackman. Then he adds, “But, hey, they did Rocky. Who would have thought?”

James Mangold in Talks to Direct Another Wolverine Film

Deadline broke the news earlier today that director James Mangold (Kate & Leopold) is in talks with Fox to direct a follow-up film to The Wolverine. With strong international numbers for the recent Japanese saga ($413 million worldwide), Fox is apparently interested in exploring more of the character. Mangold is currently making a deal to write the treatment, while “X-Men franchise matriarch” Lauren Shuler Donner is already attached to produce should the project move forward.

The storyline is being kept under tight wraps, but is anyone else interested in seeing Hugh tackle Old Man Logan? I think it’d be a perfect way to bow out of the franchise, if he’s thinking of storing the claws for good in coming years.

‘After Midnight’ Broadway Opening Night

It’s been a while since Hugh Jackman’s attended a Broadway opening night, but he’s gone back to his theatrical roots: on November 3rd, he was at the opener for the new hit show, After Midnight. Starring Fantasia Barrino, the show is “a heart-pounding new musical brings the sexy, smoky glamour of Harlem’s Golden Age to a whole new generation.” Hugh’s friend Warren Carlyle – who choreographed Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway – also worked on After Midnight. Photos of Hugh bundled up on the red carpet have been added to the gallery.

2013 Angel Ball

Hugh Jackman joined his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, and mother-in-law for the 2013 Angel Ball on October 29th, which was held at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. The ball is an annual event for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, which celebrates humanitarian and philanthropic contributions for cancer research. Deb’s mother, Fay Duncan, was being honored for her work as chairman of Australia’s Fight Cancer Foundation. This year’s event – which had performances by Usher and Pharell – raised three million dollars. Check out what Hugh told Entertainment Tonight about the Ball and his mother-in-law:

“It means everything to me. It’s a fantastic ball. What [Denise Rich, the Grammy-nominated songwriter and philanthropist who started Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation] has created is amazing, and her foresight to honor this incredible woman – my mother-in-law – and I’m not just saying that to get brownie points, she really is incredible. She started the Fight Cancer Foundation in Australia with her colleagues… It’s amazing what they’ve done.”

First ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Trailer

New ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Film Still

Empire has just debuted several new film stills for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Only one featured Hugh Jackman, but it’s a great shot: him lounging as Wolverine – shirtless, no less – with a chest full of bullet holes. Check out the source for more stills, including looks at Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and director Bryan Singer.

The first trailer for the film drops on Tuesday, October 29th. Until then, enjoy a six-second teaser on Instagram.

Bill Condon to Rewrite ‘The Greatest Showman on Earth’

Hugh Jackman has mentioned that there’s been recent movement on the previously stagnant The Greatest Showman on Earth, but now it seems the future musical on P.T. Barnum is breathing once more. Although Jenny Bicks (“Sex and the City”) wrote the original screenplay for the film, Oscar-winning writer and director Bill Condon has signed on to rewrite another draft. Condon’s most notable works include Chicago and Dreamgirls, so this new musical should be in good hands under his supervision.

The Hollywood Reporter also stated “commercials director and visual effects wizard Michael Gracey is on board to helm the biopic about the legendary showman who created the three-ring circus and loved to hoax a gullible public. A focal point of the movie is Barnum’s infatuation with opera singer Jenny Lind, dubbed the Swedish Nightingale. No actress is attached to that role yet.”

Vulture’s 100 Most Valuable Stars of 2013

Vulture recently released their annual list of the 100 Most Valuable Stars — and Hugh Jackman made an appearance. At #11, he is up 20 places from last year’s position. His stats include a studio value of 9/10, 73% likeablity (that’s all?!), 55 on the critics’ score, and a tabloid value of 7/10. Stars ahead of Hugh include (in order, from 1-10) Robert Downey Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Christian Bale, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and Johnny Depp. Read what Vulture had to say about Hugh:

11. Hugh Jackman
THE ENTERTAINER

He rises on this list by mixing genres and making blockbusters that are especially powerful overseas.

Hugh Jackman has surged over the past year: On our 2013 Most Valuable Stars list, he was ranked a genial No. 31, but this year, he nearly threatened to storm the top ten. It’d be hard to think of someone more deserving, since Jackman has had a pretty phenomenal twelve months. Last winter, he won his first Oscar nomination for Les Misérables, which took in $441 million worldwide, his second biggest hit ever. This summer, U.S. audiences were just so-so on his X flick The Wolverine, which made a disappointing $131 million here… but overseas, it was the biggest X-Men film ever, taking in $242.8 million. Even Prisoners, a relentlessly bleak kidnapped-kids drama, has thus far taken in $76 million worldwide.

But there’s more to draw from Jackman’s last year than box-office receipts. Few actors can prove so convincing in action, drama, and musicals, and Jackman pulled it all off within nine months, promoting each film with grinning brio. In an era during which new stars are hard to come by, he puts in the sort of globe-trotting promotional time that used to be the sole provenance of Will Smith and Tom Cruise. That’s won him high awareness and likability scores; it’s also prompted studio executives to assign the same points to Jackman that they do Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie. Jackman always looked the part of an A-list superstar; now, it seems, his career has finally caught up with him.

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