Legends of Tomorrow has brought in a whole host of historical figures over its two seasons so far – George Washington, Albert Einstein, J.R.R. Tolkien…the list goes on. Now, we’re learning of at least one famous name that’ll appear in the show’s third season. It’s P.T. Barnum, the 19th century showman and businessman known for the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
What will really interest fans, though, is that he’ll be portrayed in the series by Billy Zane. To wider audiences, Zane will be best remembered for his turn in James Cameron’s Titanic, but superhero lovers know him as the titular Phantom in the cult 1996 movie. Fans also campaigned for him to get the role of Lex Luthor in the DCEU a few years back, but that didn’t come to pass. Likewise, this won’t be Zane’s first project do with time travel, as he also starred in the Back to the Future trilogy.
Exec producer Phil Klemperer had this to say on Zane’s casting and how Legends will portray the famous showman.
“Obviously, we couldn’t resist putting Victor Garber and Billy Zane back on screen for the first time since Titanic. 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.
Truth is, Barnum never said ‘there’s a sucker born every minute.’ He was less a conman, more the father of modern advertising. 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.”
Legends of Tomorrow season 3 will also see Tala Ashe join the cast new regular character Zari Adrianna Tomaz (loosely based on DC heroine Isis), and returns to The CW on October 10th.