Hugh Jackman quits Houdini musical

Hugh JackmanJackman said he had “greatly enjoyed the collaborative process on Houdini”

X-Men star Hugh Jackman has pulled out of a new Broadway musical about Harry Houdini in which he was to have played the famed illusionist.

The actor cited scheduling demands as the reason for his departure, saying he “wasn’t able to commit to the time this role will require”.

“I have tremendous respect and admiration for the creative team and I wish everyone the best,” he continued.

“I know they’re well on their way to making something extraordinary.”

Harry HoudiniIt is not known who now will play the legendary escapologist

Producer Scott Sanders said the Les Miserables star had been “terrific to have on this part of our journey”.

“We will continue to move forward with our remarkable creative team as they craft this ambitious new musical,” he said.

First mooted in 2008, the long-gestating Houdini musical had been on track for a 2014 premiere before Jackman’s exit.

Danny Elfman, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz are among those to have been involved in the project over the past five years.

West Wing creator Sorkin had been working on the script but pulled out in January, also citing scheduling conflicts.

David Ives, author of Tony Award-winning play Venus in Fur, has since stepped in to write the script.

Jackman was recently seen in the film version of Les Miserables, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

He was also seen in 2013 in X-Men sequel The Wolverine, a role he will reprise in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.


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