Legends of Tomorrow adds Billy Zane as P.T. Barnum for time travel arc

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Jun 16, 2017, 6:12 PM EDT (Updated)

The cast list for Season 3 of The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow is starting to come together, and the series has added veteran actor Billy Zane as P.T. Barnum, founder of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. So yeah, there will definitely be some time-travel shenanigans this fall.

The news was confirmed by Entertainment Weekly, which noted the appearance is only for one episode, so it sounds like the gang’s stop in the mid-to-late 1880s (when Barnum lived) will likely be a mission of the week. Producer Phil Klemperer said they’re trying to find the heart underneath the showman — but still with a good bit of the showman shining through. Klemperer said he’s wanted to have Zane on the show for a long time, and this role felt like the perfect fit:

“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.”

Season 2 of Legends ramped up the time-travel stories to pitch-perfect effect, landing in the same zone as shows like Timeless and Doctor Who. Just, you know, with a whole lot of superheroes at the center. Klemperer said to look for more of that when the show returns for Season 3, as they continue to put their own spin on real-life historical figures. 

(Via Entertainment Weekly)