Les Miserables

Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables

As we all know, period pieces are beloved the world around for their gorgeous, detailed designs and their poorly shaved heads. Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables will not disappoint on either front, especially considering that these new pictures show off both Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway with heads that look like they were shaved by an epileptic Edward Scissorhands. The joys of Victor Hugo’s novel, come to life!

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Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s messing with the bull, and ain’t scared of the horns. We begin tonight with a look at Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. He tweeted the picture himself, which is the hip new way to get first looks at new films out into the world. Which sucks, because now I have to follow him on Twitter and sift through what Hugh Jackman ate for breakfast just to see what he looks like with a convict beard. My life is so hard, you guys.

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A few weeks ago, Twitch exclusively reported that Taylor Swift had been offered the role of Eponine in Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables adaptation – news which struck most people with ears and eyes as a terrible pick (myself heartily included). But it looks like that news was perhaps a bit too premature, as Swift will not be playing the rich girl turned street urchin (and one segment of the story’s love triangle). Instead, the all-star production has gone in a different direction – by reportedly hiring on an actual trained Broadway actress who has played the role before. Samantha Barks will take on the role, which she previously played in the wildly popular 25th anniversary concert version of the classic story. The news was announced by Cameron Mackintosh (who is also a producer on Hooper’s film) live on stage at the Manchester Palace during the curtain call of a performance of Oliver!, a production in which Barks was playing the role of Nancy. While it’s unclear at this time, most observers seem to think the official news was a surprise even to Barks, who apparently looked both elated and surprised by the news.

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On the heels of the news that director Tom Hooper will likely make the cast of his upcoming Les Miserables adaptation sing “live” on camera (versus inserting vocals after they’ve been polished up in a traditional recording studio), comes news that The King’s Speech helmer may have two other vocal talents to add to his production. Twitch reports, thanks to two different exclusive scoops, that offers are out to Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift for a pair of key parts (and both angles on a looooove triangle!). Seyfried (who actually has a background in opera, fun trivia!) has been offered the essential role of Cosette. Cosette is the daughter of Anne Hathaway‘s Fantine (yes, Hathaway is just three years older than Seyfried), the ruined and tragic prostitute. Fantine gives baby Cosette to the rich Thénardiers, thinking they will care for her, though they mistreat her until she is eventually saved by adoptive papa Jean Valjean. And just why do the Thénardiers abuse her? Well, they’re really evil, and they’re also busy lavishing treats on their real daughters, including eldest Eponine. Swift has reportedly been offered the role of Eponine, rich girl turned street urchin. Both Cosette and Eponine are in love with second-generation baron Marius Pontmercy (to be played by Eddie Redmayne) in Victor Hugo’s classic story. The addition of Seyfried is a bit of a no-brainer, she’s well on her way to an established film career (despite some missteps like Red Riding Hood and Dear John), and her actual background in and talent for […]

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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Let it never be said that director Tom Hooper doesn’t make some interesting choices when it comes to filming his projects for maximum veracity. His Oscar-winning hit The King’s Speech was shot on a former porno set (grit!), he used Colonial Williamsburg for a number of sets for his John Adams (gritty, in a different way!), and now it looks like he’s going full-hilt on his first musical feature. Hooper’s next film is a full-scale musical feature version of the done-to-starving-death Les Miserables, and while a new take on Victor Hugo’s classic material doesn’t strike most people as necessary, Hooper is going to give the project its own spin to liven it up. No, no, he’s not going to make it some sort of bizarre “reimagining,” he’s going to make its stars actually sing. No, no, it’s much more interesting than that – he’s going to make them sing live. A “source close to the production” has told the Sun UK that “the director is determined to make the project as authentic as possible.” As such, “the cast will record their vocals live on camera rather than go into a studio first then mime on film to the pre-recorded vocal…First they have to learn the complex songs, then they’ll have to get it right on set in front of the other stars and crew.” This does provide a look inside Hooper’s vision for the film, which may be much more classically theatrical than first suspected. Hooper has already lined up […]

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Last month, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe officially signed on for Tom Hooper’s take on the classic Les Miserables, set to face off as dashing criminal Jean Valjean and Police Inspector Javert, respectively. At the time, we didn’t yet know who would be taking on the female leads in the musical, but it looks like Hooper has rounded out at least one role with that rare beast – a Hollywood starlet with a predilection for belting out tunes. No, not Barbra Streisand. No, not Cher. Oh, guys, no, not Christina Aguilera. It’s Anne Hathaway! Hathaway will play eventual prostitute Fantine, who gives up quite literally everything (including her teeth) to provide for her daughter Cosette (who comes under Valjean’s wing). She also sings her way through a number of big numbers, the most famous of which is unfortunate Glee fodder “I Dreamed a Dream.” Hathaway has sung in a few features (including Rio and Ella Enchanted), and she’s broken out her pipes during her duties as Oscar co-host and two-time Saturday Night Live host, but she’s yet to bring those talents to a full-scale musical. Hathaway has also been long attached to (and quite personally involved with) a Judy Garland biopic. Should her performance in Les Miz establish her as a singing force to be reckoned with (toothless and all), maybe we’ll see that Garland film yet.

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If you spent yesterday ruminating on whether or not Hollywood needed yet another Anna Karenina, you can now use those brain muscles to ponder the existence of yet another big-scale adaptation of a classic work – now with 100% more Russell Crowe! We’ve known for awhile that Hugh Jackman would star in Tom Hooper‘s take on Les Miserables, but it’s been unclear just who he would play and, conversely, who would play opposite him. Dream no more dreams, mon amies, all of our questions have now been answered. Jackman will star as prisoner 24601 himself, criminal Jean Valjean (but a dashing criminal who stole bread to save his family, a thief with a heart of gold!), with Crowe set as his long-time nemesis, Police Inspector Javert (who is essentially the Officer Krupke of the entire production). Jackman and Crowe round out the essential male roles of the film, with casting still up in the air for the female leads Fantine and Cosette, along with the entire Thénardier family. This new Les Miz is viewed as a “live-action adaptation” of the famous stage musical and an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. You know what that means! Singing! It’s no secret that Jackman loves to belt out tunes, and the actor is pretty skilled when it comes to doing the big showy stuff (hell, he’s even done it on Broadway in The Boy from Oz). But Crowe is no singing slouch either, as he likes to put his gravelly voice to more rock tunes, […]

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Any theater fan knows that making Les Miserable as a film will be a considerable undertaking (one that hopefully keeps the rotating stage). It’s an epic piece of writing made even larger by the music created for the stage version by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil (the English version libretto was done by Herbert Kretzmer). With a Best Picture under his belt, Tom Hooper wants to tackle it, and so does Universal, but they’ll both need some giants to fill the main roles, and it looks like they’ve gotten their first. Variety is reporting that Hugh Jackman, famous for being well-versed as an actor, a singer, and a not-too-shabby dancer, is currently in talks to star. It’s unclear whether he’ll be playing the fugitive Jean Valjean (who was imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his sister’s family) or Javert (the police inspector determined to hunt him down), but speculation seems to be that he’ll be running from the law instead of representing it. That speculation is based on Jackman’s natural tenor singing range, but it wouldn’t be the first time a production forced an actor to do something out of their safe zone. The real question is which part he’d be best for. That, again, is Valjean. Although he could honestly nail down either part firmly. Now to find a suitable counterpart. How about Liam Neeson (who portrayed Valjean in the 1998 film adaptation), Karl Urban (can he sing?), or Jean Dujardin (making a proper launch into US filmmaking)? On […]

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The LA Times seems to have spies situated deep in the camp of The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper, and they’re spilling all of the beans when it comes to what his next film may be. One shady, unnamed source says that Hooper has already been offered and turned down the chance to direct Iron Man 3. As has been previously reported, Lethal Weapon scribe Shane Black will be the one taking on the further adventures of the red and gold Avenger, so this suggests that Black was not Marvel’s first pick for continuing the series. What is Hooper going to do instead of a super hero sequel? Well, another source close to the director told the Times that he is considering an offer to direct a film version of Les Misérables. What started as a 1860s era novel by French icon Victor Hugo has spawned countless republishings and adaptations since it’s release, the most famous of which probably being the stage musical of the early 80s. The trench coat wearing, standing in the shadows source intimates that it would be the musical that Hooper would be adapting for the screen here. The last Hollywood adaption of the story was directed by Bill August, came out in 1998, and was not a musical.

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