Zac Efron And Crew Give “Maximum Effort” To ‘The Greatest Showman’

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Zac Efron became a star thanks to his work in the High School Musical films, but since then singing has taken a backseat to carving out a diverse acting career. Whether it’s character driven work such as The Paperboy and At Any Price or straight up comedies such as Neighbors and Dirty Grandpa, Efron doesn’t mind mixing it up on the silver screen.

He returns with a spring to his step and a song in his heart in The Greatest Showman, starring as the ringmaster protegé to Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum. The musical, as evidenced by its live commercial, has been an ambitious undertaking for everyone involved. In the audio clip below, Efron explains how the cast and crew gave “maximum effort” in the making of The Greatest Showman.

The Greatest Showman, co-starring Zendaya and Michelle Williams, opens nationwide December 20.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

REALITY EXORCIST UPDATE: PUBLICISTS JUMPING THE GUN?

Film poster for The Exorcist - Copyright 1973, © Warner Bros. The event that started it all

Film poster for "The Exorcist" - Copyright 1973, © Warner Bros. The event that started it all

We reported a few days ago that the Discovery Channel got the Vatican to fork over their secrets of demonic possession cases for their new reality show, The Exorcist Files.

All this was from a EW report that went on to say that The Exorcist Files producers imagined a Church partnership that would include accompanying Catholic Church detectives on devilish investigations.

Well, what a boon for Discovery, but what does the Vatican get out of such a thing?

Actually, the question is, why would a network make such a boast on something too good to be true?

According to FOX411.com., the Vatican agency that handles any filming inside Vatican City (Pontifical Council for Social Communications) said that they didn’t have any official contact with Discovery.

Also, the Vatican doesn’t have detectives who investigate exorcist things, by the way.

In another statement to Fox, Discovery said that The Exorcist Files is “working with Catholic priests at parishes all over the world for the show and look forward to telling their stories.”

No Vatican mention in those 20 words.

Phineas Barnum couldn’t have done better.  The show got a lot of mileage with only changing a few words here and there and an expedient exaggeration.

WITH SISTER WIVES THE COUNTERCULTURE FINALLY WON

"Sister Wives" Copyright © 2010 Discovery Communications

"Sister Wives" Copyright © 2010 Discovery Communications

TLC used to stand for something about learning, but those in charge saw there was far more revenue in P.T. Barnum.

Take the reality rookie show Sister Wives, where there’s more quantum orbifolds than a in-bread hillbilly joke.

Kody Brown runs a pod of (commitment) wives who do the things women did fifty thousand years ago.

Meanwhile, Brown postures and struts about being a courageous fighter for polygamy justice, civil-human rights, hates bigotry, (likely) knowing full there’s never been a prosecution from this crime in Utah (only exception is when there’s child abuse that’s brought to the law’s attention).

So, Sisters producers milked the idea that the feds were going to snatch away Kody like Elian Gonzalez any moment as you watch him dicker with his slap-happy herd, of whom the gods must have punished in brain and flesh.

Now the newcycled news (and free publicity for the show) comes from “unnamed sources” who say Kody Brown’s first two wives met when his second wife was married to his first wife’s brother.  Abbott and Costello made a living over jokes like these, but apparently it’s the custom up there in the sticks.

The show’s publicists are nothing if not resourceful, having either concocted the weird mess (many ‘reality’ shows aren’t, well, real), or, after seeing the multiple triangles and fifth wheel possibilities, they wrenched out a grandiloquent 19th century melodrama.

“A family insider says…”  one news report begins, as if at the scene of a machine gun battle, concluding with the wife of the jilted brother is/was “upset” with her fellow sister-wife (or whatever the hell) for the dump and now there’s “tension” between these two geniuses.  I’ve got to stop.

You can predict what’s next; videos swamping the tube with Kody and his harem schlepping to a cave where the results of in-bread polygamites are muzzled, chained and waiting for their own TLC reality show.

And you only thought that Tobacco Road, God’s Little Acre and Deliverance took place in backwater Georgia.


BILLY RAY CYRUS, SON TRACE AND THE MARTIANS

Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus

Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus and his famously not so famous son Trace (not his daughter Miley) will be “investigating” the ghostly campsites and Martian hideouts (the press release was even sillier) of the trillion-dollar occult sucker industry.  The Syfy network said today that it will start shooting UFO: Unbelievably Freakin’ Obvious, a new reality show where Cyrus and son Trace will fearlessly face-down true believers and argue (the negative {of}) common-sense reasons to supernatural (appeal to ignorance) idiot loops.

“Getting the opportunity to take this adventure with my son, who has always had a keen interest in this area, is a dream come true,” said Cyrus. “I hope this series can shine a light on some of the activities we have questioned, and the mysteries that have long inspired us.”

“…always had a keen interest in this area?”  “the mysteries that have long inspired us?”  Billy Ray is a genuinely nice man, and so humble that he would likely not talk (even in print) like he was doing uppity imitations of Queen Victoria the elder.  Apparently the ghostwriter was terrified that anything less pretentious would be too hillbilly.

Mark Stern, Vice President of original programming for Syfy says that “Allegations of cover-up and conspiracy around unexplained phenomena has inspired heated debate for decades, and it will be interesting to see what truth Billy Ray and Trace may discover.”  If the news release publicist was my newspaper re-writer I might ask her to give me 500-words without once using the word ‘inspired.’

I know what you’re thinking, “Is there more to this show than a really clever name?” Well, Dan Aykroyd tried a similar idea with PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, but he was a true believer, and while it had the odor of sanctimony, it seemed more like a platform for his countless conspiracy and Martians-are-coming hysterias.  If the Cyrus and Son show actually tries to debunk the issue (exposing the man behind the curtain) then there may be a much smaller audience.  There aren’t many who’ll watch a show saying that flying saucers don’t exist, aside from myself and James The Amazing Randi.

Remember that Aykroyd‘s PSI Factor lasted for 88 shows, and ten percent believe that Elvis is still alive, and most believe in ghosts and Judas Priest-knows what-all. Contrast that with the handful of viewers who watch science faction subjects on Nova.  One show is a license to print money and the other is a pink paycheck for your vice president of programming job.

P.T. Barnum was wrong, there’s a sucker born every split second.