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Hugh Jackman May Finally Sing On Screen. (Plus: Paul Bettany!)

If I know The Film Experience crowd you've already heard that Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in Tom Hooper's screen adapation of Les Miserables, affectionately known all over God's green earth (that show has travelled everywhere) as "Les Miz". I personally couldn't be more thrilled since Jackman as song & dance man is my all time favorite Jackman. Since I love all the other incarnations of Jackman with great muchness that is saying a hell of a lot.

(I will never ever ever forget or regret seeing him on the boards in The Boy From Oz... and the show wasn't even good!)

You may recall that we did a "Cast This" awhile back and Hugh Jackman was the favorite choice for starring in the comments. My greatest desire IF they secure Jackman --  who has been so ready to sing onscreen that he even supposedly did it in Chinese in his cameo in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (opening soon) -- that the studio won't feel they have to have huge stars in every role and will cast according to actual vocal/acting gifts. Les Miz is not "pop" music. You can't have a pleasant voice with tiny range and merely be able to carry a tune. You've got to be able to carry epic melodrama in your voice.

Les Miz is a beast of a property and will be terrifically hard to pull off but it COULD make a great film. Especially if they cast well and cast for the roles andvoices and not from fear and bet-hedging. It's a long long way until a first trailer (ha!) but IF when it arrives, Hollywood is trying to pretend that it ISN'T a musical,  as so many modern musicals have done (despite notable box office successes in the genre in the past decade), than we'll know they blew it and the studio is nervous. But for now, I'm trying to stay optimistic. Hugh Jackman would sure help boost the possibility that it will be a great film version.

Good luck Tom Hooper. You'll need it.

Paul Bettany has read and sung for the part of "Javert"

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Reader Comments (13)

I'm still hoping for Kate Winslet as Fantine, or better yet, Idina Menzel. But I can't imagine they'd ever cast her, Hollywood doesn't seem to understand her greatness.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

If Kate was Fantine, Hugh was Valjean, and Christian Bale played Javert, they'd never get me to leave the theatre. Ever.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

Paul Bettany? Wow. I would have gone with Antonio Banderas.

Jackman or Glenn Hansard would have been my choices for Valjean.
Lea Michelle has to be Eponine
Anne Hathaway needs to be in this somewhere (Fantine or Cosette)
Ricky Gervais and Catherine Tate for the Thernadiers
... and Justin Bieber for Gavroche!!!

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

Les Miz is a beast of a property and will be terrifically hard to pull off but it COULD make a great film. Especially if they cast well and cast for the roles andvoices and not from fear and bet-hedging.


I think what annoyed me about NINE was it was a film ashamed to be a musical. Embrace the genre. Embrace the music and the style. It's annoying to be a fan of musicals and then see that the studio has given me nothing to enjoy. They should at least please the fans and work on bring more fans to the fold. Otherwise they end up pleasing no one.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandro

I'm getting bad Nine flashbacks already. A Tom Hooper musical sounds tailor made to not interest me in the slightest.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

RJ -- so do you not like Les Miz at all? Cuz it's pretty great I think.

Alejandro -- yes, people can smell fear. I honestly think this is part of the reason that Hairspray and Dreamgirls made $100 mill or thereabouts. They didn't pretend they weren't musicals. Shame is a big turnoff for people, even if subconsciously so.

June 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Honestly, I'm not that familiar with Lez Mis. I'm just of the opinion that it's REALLY difficult to make movie musicals work these days. A lot of them are really uninteresting to me. I think it really only works if you go over the top, big, silly (i.e. Hairspray which I thought was fine) or if you go really small and sweet (i.e. Once). Tom Hooper is not, to me, the type that inspires me to be excited for a musical. I'm imagining a very self-serious musical film.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

I was thinking Hooper would have chosen Alfie Boe for Valjean, but Jackman could be a nice choice as well!

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermirko

I would love for Lea Michele and Anne Hathaway to be in this.
I'm kind of ashamed to admit [since I'm a theatre person] but I don't really know Les Miz at all.
Soo...this motivates me to get to know it better haha.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Lea Michelle would be a too Glee oriented choice to be believable, even if I know she's very popular among the show fans...instead I like a lot Anne Hathaway's idea

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermirko

awesome awesome awesome. i know that when the news came out that hooper was planning to make it (back in March, maybe?) most of the blogs automatically suggested hugh jackman and i thought that it was a great idea. I kind of want Anna Kendrick to be in this in some context, because I loved her singing parts in the past ("Camp" and her Broadway history), though I admit she may not fit very well.

And, you just KNOW that Lea Michelle is jumping this sh!t as hard as possible. Her agent is probably camping out at Hooper's house as we speak. Can't blame the girl.

Anyone from High School Musical, though, should just stay AWAY.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous

I suggested Jackman for Javert in the past.

I'm imagining a very self-serious musical film.

"Les Miserables" is about as serious a musical as they come.

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSC

Hugh has just finished two-week one-man show in Toronto and he's told audiences that he was going to do Les Mis. Check out this video of Hugh signing outside the stage door after one of his shows - at about :45 he answers questions about Les Mis and says he's playing Valjean, and even sings a bit of "24601" at the end.

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranon

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