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Hugh Jackman quits 'Houdini' Broadway project

Tony Award-winner Hugh Jackman has left the long-gestating Broadway musical "Houdini" after being attached to the project for at least two years.

"I have greatly enjoyed the collaborative process on 'Houdini,' " Jackman, 45, said in a statement. "Ultimately, though, I wasn't able to commit to the time this role will require. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the creative team and I wish everyone the best. I know they're well on their way to making something extraordinary."

The producers of the as-yet-unscheduled show announced in January 2012 that Jackman -- who won a 2004 Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for "The Boy from Oz" -- would play the legendary illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini. The actor reportedly had been involved unofficially before this.

"Houdini" has gone through several personnel changes since first being announced in 2008 with a planned 2010 premiere. Film composer Danny Elfman was originally announced to do the music, with lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Kurt Andersen. Jack O'Brien ("Hairspray") has remained as director, though Stephen Schwartz ("Wicked") is now composing the songs, while David Ives ("Venus in Fur") provides the book. Aaron Sorkin had been attached as writer in 2012 when Jackman was announced.

Scott Sanders, who is producing the show along with its set-designer, David Rockwell, said in a statement, "Hugh has been terrific to have on this part of our journey. We will continue to move forward with our remarkable creative team as they craft this ambitious new musical."

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