Billy Zane has been cast as the real-life P.T. Barnum for DC's Legends of Tomorrow on the CW, according to Entertainment Weekly. Althoughhe might be more known to some for his titular role in the live-action The Phantom movie, it's another film connection that the show might be having fun with.
"Obviously, we couldn’t resist putting Victor Garber and Billy Zane back on screen for the first time since the Titanic," said show producer Phil Klemmer. “But I’ve wanted to bring Billy onto Legends every since I saw him in a friend’s comedy pilot. I’m not sure that people know how funny Billy is, although we cast him as P.T. Barnum because we knew that he would be able to find the soul beneath the larger-than-life showman."
Barnum is but the latest real-life figure being fictionalized to appear in Legends, and in this case Klemmer said they're attempting to mix the myth and the history.
"Truth is, Barnum never said ‘there’s a sucker born every minute.’ He was less a conman, more the father of modern advertising," said Klemmer. "A guy who made things ‘go viral’ before that was a thing. Sure, in one sense, he’s the villain of our story, but in another, he’s just a guy who wants to put on a good show. Anyone who works in TV can relate to that, right?! Anyway, Billy seemed like the perfect guy to get that duality."
Zane has appeared in numerous comic book-based television shows and movies, ranging from the aforementioned The Phantom to Tales of the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight, and The New Batman Adventures.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow is set to return October 10 on the CW.