During their second season, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow brought in quite a number of real life individuals into their world of time travelling heroes including the likes of Albert Einstein, George Washington, J.R.R. Tolkein and even George Lucas. For the series third season this will be a trend that continues.
One of those historical figures will be the great showman P.T. Barnum played by Billy Zane, according to Entertainment Weekly. While Zane is no stranger to comic book worlds after staring in The Phantom in the 90s, it’s another of his 90s films that producers are taking advantage of in this appearance.
“Obviously, we couldn’t resist putting Victor Garber and Billy Zane back on screen for the first time since the Titanic,” Executive producer Phil Klemperer said. “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.”
While Barnum will be a villain/antagonist to the team, the series will be looking to get past some of the myths and legends that have built up over time about the man.
“Truth is, Barnum never said ‘there’s a sucker born every minute.’ He was less a conman, more the father of modern advertising,” Klemperer said. “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.”
Barnum will be just one of seemingly quite a few real-life individuals being brought to life during the series third year.
“The thing about history books is that they turn famous people into 2-D characters,” Klemperer said. “This season on Legends, we want to meet other famous figures from history, people like Barnum, people we think we know, so that we can find the aspects of them, the parts of their story, that the history books left out — we want to bring history to life by infusing it with heart, humor, and total absurdity (often at the same time).”
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow returns to The CW on October 10 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.