A cinematic adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel turned Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Herbert Kretzmer musical has been in the works since the 1980s. Now it has finally come to fruition under the watchful eyes of Tom Hooper, the Academy Award winning director of The King’s Speech.
Musical theatre veteran (and ultimate Oscar host) Hugh Jackman takes on the iconic role of Jean Valjean, a Frenchman who had been imprisoned for stealing bread. Valjean breaks his parole and is on the run. Part-time musician (who knew?) Russell Crowe becomes ‘the law’ as Inspector Javert, a policeman who dedicates his life to tracking Valjean down.
Anne Hathaway shaved away her luscious locks to play Fantine, a struggling factory worker and mother of an illegitimate child, Cosette. She is eventually forced to turn to prostitution to support herself and her daughter (cue the pixie cut). Amanda Seyfried is Cosette, who has blossomed into a beautiful teenager under Valjean’s care.
The film is hotly anticipated by musical theatre fans worldwide and the search for the cast sparked widespread debate online. Lea Michele and Taylor Swift were two of the names touted as being considered for the role of Eponine which ultimately went to Samantha Barks. Musical theatre lovers may recognise Ms Barks from the BBC’s I’d Do Anything. You can check her out in action as Eponine on stage just below.
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Eddie Redmayne is Marius, a role recently played by former teen heart-throb Nick Jonas while the seemingly versatile Sacha Baron Cohen takes on the role of Thénardier, father to Eponine and Gavroche. Helena Bonham Carter joins forces with Hooper once again, this time trading the role of the King’s wife for the Inn-Keeper’s wife as Madame Thénardier.
Les Misérables hits cinemas in the USA on Christmas Day but we won’t get the chance to man the barricades and bring him home until January 11th.