Hugh Jackman in Talks to Star in Tom Hooper's New 'Les Miserables'

June 15, 2011
Source: Variety

Hugh Jackman

We all know that actor Hugh Jackman has a glorious singing voice and roots in musical theater, now he's bringing it all full circle. Variety, with another big casting scoop, is reporting that Jackman is now in talks for a lead role in Oscar winning (for The King's Speech) director Tom Hooper's latest adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, based on Victor Hugo's novel. The project was first announced back in March, but this is the first casting we've heard for it since then. Unfortunately, Variety doesn't know if Jackman will be playing Jean Valjean, the protagonist on the run in the story, or Javert, the police inspector after him.

Universal is developing, with the original Les Mis theater mastermind Cameron Mackintosh producing with Working Title. The musical was adapted for the screen once before in 1998, but that version, starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman, barely made $14 million at the box office. Obviously this project has a ways to go with casting the two other leads in it, but starting with Hugh Jackman is a huge first-step, especially considering he's got a gap to fill with The Wolverine still on hold. I'm not really sure about this new Les Mis movie yet, but if this is the direction Hooper is taking it, I'm definitely intrigued. Thoughts?

Update: There's been an update to the news courtesy of Deadline, who says that Jackman is definitely in the running for the protagonist lead role of Jean Valjean - which would be fantastic to see. They also say that Paul Bettany is a "candidate" and has read/sang for the role for Javert, the antagonist in the story. Casting isn't finalized yet for either, but if these are the two they get, this film might just turn out quite awesome. I am truthfully much more excited for this than Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby!

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  • Parra Soshul
    Yes!  Jean Valjean, exactly the kind of role we've been hoping to see him in, at long last!
  • Guy
    The "Les Miserables" with Liam Neison is an incredible film. Sadly, one that not many saw, still really good none the less.
  • Gentleman308
    He needs to do this, if done right this will get Hugh his oscar, it would be the perfect movie for him, not as javert, as jean valjean for sure
  • hg
     according to deadline javert will be played by Paul Bettany
    • Ben
      if true, Bettany and Jackson could be amazing!
  • Maxx
    This is one of my favorite musicals and to see it on screen would be amazing especially with the let down that was a Jonas Jerk brother as Marius in the 25th anniversary showing in theaters. Hugh Jackman is definitely one of my favorite actors and man he can sing! Though I am concerned about his range for the higher songs like Bring Him Home which is usually always sung in falsetto and not everyone's falsetto voice is the prettiest. But I think Hugh can kick ass if that isn't an issue.
  • equustel
    I cannot even express my level of excitement right now. I have been waiting for this movie to get made for YEAAAARS and Jackman. Is. Perfect.
  • equustel
    By the way, the musical hasn't been adapted for the screen before. The Liam Neeson Les Mis is based on the novel. It's a straight drama, no singing. :]
  • CookieMonster
    Goddam it it's not a musical ffs. The movie with Liam Neeson is just perfect. Hugo doesnt need more adaptations of it.
  • Johnsonsr
    Alfie Boe, Alfie Boe,Alfie Boe.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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