In January 2017, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the circus founded by P.T. Barnum, announced they would be closing their doors forever, due to decreased attendance and protests by animal rights activists. Their last shows were in May 2017.
Rebecca Ferguson admitted in an interview that she was extremely nervous when she had to perform a song in the film because she had to sing in front of a full audience plus all the crew. She commented that it was Hugh Jackman and his encouraging response to her performance that really helped her at the time.
The Greatest Showman (2017) will feature eleven new songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land (2016). From early on in pre-production on the film, the decision was made to have the musical style to evoke more that of contemporary musical genres like pop and hip hop rather than that of a traditional, classical musical style that would accurately evoke the film's 1800s setting. As Pasek said, "The choice was to express not just the characters' feelings, but also how ahead of his time P.T. Barnum was. He wasn't bound by the world in which he lived; he wanted to create one."
A well known musical based on P.T.'s life, "Barnum", starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close, was a fine hit on Broadway. With songs written by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart, the show demands a tour-de-force performance from its star.
Rebecca Ferguson's voice was dubbed by Loren Allred. Ferguson had studied music and admitted that she can carry a tune but since Jenny Lind, her character, is considered the best singer in the world, dubbing her voice would be in service of the movie. However, Ferguson insisted to sing the song in front of the extras while filming, in order to get into the role.