Movie News

Russell Crowe to join Hugh Jackman in the newest adaptation of Les Miserables!

Published at: Sept. 9, 2011, 8:39 a.m. CST

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. One of the highlights of my high school experience was taking part in Mr. Ellerbrock's AP History class. He went out of his way to provide extra credit for his genuinely difficult class to broaden the horizons of his students. He would organize field trips to plays, ballets and museums and also constantly had showtunes running during study time. I'm sure most of his students were driven crazy by this, but I wasn't one of them.

It was in this class that I first heard the music from Les Miserables. Now, I don't have the soundtrack or anything, but it's quite a story and the music is pretty damn catchy. Especially this bit:

 

 

Anyway, I dig that there's a film adaptation of Les Miserables, the musical, in the works at Working Title and really like the cast they're building, but am not the world's biggest Tom Hooper fan. I mean, he's alright. The King's Speech isn't a bad movie by any means, it's just pedestrian and lot of that feeling comes from the direction.

Hopefully Hooper can somehow inject some spark in his directing style. Like I said, he's got a good cast shaping up with Hugh Jackman in the lead as Jean Valjean. Currently in negotiations, as per THR, to join Mr. Jackman are Russell Crowe (for Javert) and Helena Bonham Carter for Mdm. Thenardier, who is the horrible lady featured in the above number.

You know, that casting doesn't bug me. I'm more worried about Hooper bringing some personality to the movie. Or maybe he should just do his thing. He got an Oscar for it, so what do I know?

Thoughts?

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
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  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Avengers

    by truenotes1

    link to shots of The Avengers http://io9.com/5837792/more-set-photos-from-nyc-filming-of-the-avengers/gallery/1

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Another Film Adaptation of Les Miserables

    by kevinwillis.net

    Just what I was waiting for! Oh, no, wait, I was not.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:45 a.m. CST

    jackman great, but russell crowe???

    by taff

    Hugh Jackman is a very talented song & dance man so he'll be great in the role, but Russell Crowe is likely to drag down the movie. Of course I just, for the first time, saw his incredibly bad Robin Hood and that is probably impacting my response...

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:46 a.m. CST

    Hooper can't get beyond bland

    by melonman

    But at least Crowe may beat the shit out of him so he'll go crying back to television. Know thy place. I still shake my head that the little assclown won best director - over David fucking Fincher!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Sounds good so far.

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    They should get Michael Sheen to play opposite HBC's part. Can he sing?

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Excited

    by erik_a

    I've been a fan of the musical since it came out. And I'm looking forward to this movie. The casting sounds fantastic...heads and tails above what was done to the Phantom of the Opera movie made by Joel "Ruined Batman" Schumacher.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Can Crowe sing?

    by zacdilone

    "Stars" is one of the most beautiful numbers in the show. I'd hate if it was ruined by a Gerard Butler-style casting disaster.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    by glenn_the_frog

    Agreed, Jackman great, but Russell Crowe??? Can he even sing? Why not get someone from the actual stage show? Colm Wilkinson and Terrance Mann/Philip Quast are their 60's, so they're too old to do the leads now (though age appropriate for the second half...) and we've already got a 15 year old recording of the Dream Cast *anyway* but... get some people that can SING. Also, is the movie going to have a director's cut? It seems a silly thing to ask before the movie is even out, but there's just no way we're getting a three hour+ theatrical release for any musical. It'd be nice to know that they're filming everything, even though it undoubtedly is going to get cut down to a 90 minute running time and lose half the songs.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST

    H B Carter? Ah come on!

    by Knobules

    I cant watch that overacting monster head.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:10 a.m. CST

    @zacdilone

    by erik_a

    Yeah, he can sing. Some years ago I went to hear his band, TOFOG when it came to Austin. It was right after he won the Oscar for Gladiator. (He brought it with him and showed it to the audience.) At that time he sounded pretty good. I don't know what he had done in the past few years, but from what I remember he was definitely heads and tails above Gerard Butler (God only knows why a guy who had no training to sing a very difficult part was chosen to portray the Phantom). I think Crowe will be fine as Javert.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST

    AVENGERS PICS LOOK BAD

    by Darth Busey

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST

    IS RDJ EVEN IN THE COSTUME IN THIS ONE?

    by Darth Busey

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST

    THE CAPTAIN AMERICA COSTUME LOOKS VERY GOOFY IN STILL FRAME

    by Darth Busey

  • WOHOOOO! Musicals.......we all love those gayass musicals......

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    There's plenty of decent French actor/singers

    by Mumbo

    What the fuck was wrong with any of them??

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    @prestigeworldwide

    by erik_a

    I doubt they do Broadway covers. I just did a youtube search for 30 Odd Foot Grunt or TOFOG. Found some vids from not too long ago. He sounds better than I remember. I'm even more confident now he'll be perfectly fine as Inspector Javert.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    The songs...

    by That_MacReady_Thing

    Stars

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    by That_MacReady_Thing

    http://youtu.be/ROr4vdRZxpU

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Concerned for both

    by Batguy

    Jackman is good, but he's a baritone. Valjean is a very demanding high tenor role. Both parts require a pretty sturdy vocal technique. I smell a possible disaster...

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST

    stupidest fucking story of all time

    by spidercoz

    Don't misunderstand, the Broadway show is amazing, but really, fuck Victor Hugo. Retarded fucking froggy shit. At least Melville knew how to write a tale of obsession that wasn't moronic. 13 years since the last adaptation, I guess that means it's due. Call it "The Amazing Les Miserables" and you've got a winner. Gerard Depardieu must be rolling in his grave.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:39 a.m. CST

    @that_macready_thing

    by erik_a

    *Squee!* Philip Quast. Best. Damn. Javert. Ever. The 10th Anniversary concert was much better than the most recent one, even though I did enjoy Alfie Boe as Valjean quite a bit.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Argh Geoffrey Rush!

    by DrSherlockHouse

    It's too bad, Rush played Javert in the straight film adaptation (with Liam Neeson), so it was unlikely they'd cast him AGAIN in the role...but I had hope since Hooper directed him in King's Speech. :(

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:44 a.m. CST

    CASTING

    by Wil McKeown

    Jackman is a little young. He can sing, but he ain't no Colm Wilkenson. That guy is amazing. They need to give the original Jean Valjean at least a small role in this. I say they cast Jack Black as the Master of the House. He has the voice and comedic appeal for the role. May be a little young, but there is always makeup. Leah Michelle of Glee as Eponine. SHe sang the big song in the premier of Glee. Hauntingly beautiful. I heard Anne Hatheway is cast, hopefully as Cossette. Gotta admit, I have been waiting for a big screen version of the musical. Phantom did not deserve it and RENT was good, albeit poorly received. This is the greatest musical of all time. Hands down!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST

    1978 film is WONDERFUL.

    by impetus

    Despite being made for TV, the 1978 version of Les Miserables (an adaptation of the novel, not the musical) is amazingly good - just fantastic, powerfully emotional filmmaking. Even the combined thespian superpowers of Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush weren't enough to elevate their version because the tones of the films were so radically different. I'd love to see a widescreen version of the '78 movie - though that's unlikely given it was formatted for broadcast TV.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Hathaway is to play Fantine, not Cosette <nt>

    by Grenadier

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I'm better with Jackman & Crowe

    by jim

    than I was with the rumours of RDJ & Sean Penn. Good to hear, Grenadier. I think Hathaway is better suited to Fantine than Cosette. I like the idea of Jack Black as Thenardier. I always figured if the studio insisted on "stars" for the film, the Thenardier and his wife would be the perfect roles for film actors who maybe weren't as strong vocally.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop of Digne

    by tomandshell

    That would be a nice cameo. If Jack Black is in this, he'd better be that guy that gets trapped under the cart. And absolutely nobody from Glee in the cast, thanks.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Why is nobody like "WTF??!?!?"...?

    by The Ringwraith

    Obviously we don't have many Les Miserables fans out there, because if there were this rumour "(and it better only be a rumour) is ridiculous. Javert is an extremely difficult singing role, and requires a world-class baritone for any justice at all to be done to the music. I'm a registered Russell Crowe apologist and fan, and I would have no problem with him being cast as a non-musical version of Javert, but he simply can not do this role. Check out this video to see how Javert needs to sing... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0xi5FqIefE&feature=related

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Makin movies singing songs and fighting around the world!

    by sunwukong86

    OH MY GOD ITS RUSSLE CROWE!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    So wait, we're all assuming this is a musical.

    by Orbots Commander

    I'm thinking that with Russell Crowe as a 2nd lead part, it isn't going to be a musical. It'll be likely be more an adaptation of the novel, which is pretty much, 'The Fugitive' set against the backdrop of the French Revolution and the Terror.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I'm a fan of the musical

    by erik_a

    I'm a fan of Les Miserables and have been since the late 80s. I personally don't think Russell Crowe would be a problem. I'm actually happy with the casting I've heard so far. I would have much rather this movie be made back in 1992 when it was supposed to be out and have Colm Wilkinson (or my fave singer Henk Poort--the Dutch Jean Valjean), and someone like Terrence Mann play Javert, but it didn't happen, obviously. Philip Quast is my all-time favorite Javert, though. If this movie sucks, and I highly doubt it will, I still have all the cast albums, and the two concert versions available for my listening/viewing pleasure. After the Phantom movie debacle (and now the Love Never Dies debacle) I find it's not worth it to get my knickers in a wad over casting for a movie. Any movie. It takes too much energy and I have more important things to worry about, anyway.

  • However, that said (as Harry likes to say) I do find the casting to be on the road to making a good movie but not as good as it could be. I am concerned it will come off as a mediocre version of the musical. It has the potential to be incredible, but also the potential to be a disaster. Having Jackman OR Crowe would be a decent compromise to casting "big names" in one lead and leaving the rest open to the best person for the role. Throw a couple more stars into less demanding roles such as the Thenardiers. Casting both, along with Hathaway, looks like they are casting for names who have the ability to carry a tune. Singing in a band is not the same thing as being able to sing this music. I love Bob Dylan but wouldn't cast him in a musical.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Needs more Wahlberg.

    by Pvt. Duke

    Fist buuuuump.

  • But it's a flick for Chrissakes! I'm sure they can get ONE take that great. BTW, 10th anniversary is the way to go.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Tomorrow you will be worlds away.

    by UltraTron

    How can I live if we are parted? Well you can start by bashing wolverine with a phone.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    big jim, yes it should be incredible!

    by The Ringwraith

    This is the frustrating thing - Les Mis on stage is like a religious experience for most people. Its one of the most emotional experiences in the world, and that emotion is driven by the powerhouse musical score and the best vocal talents in the world. If the film is anything less than staggeringly brilliant, it will be a creative failure. Getting it right will be a massive challenge, and this is bad start. I'm generally a pragmatist when it comes to casting big-name stars in big-budget films - I understand the business. I have no problem with Hugh Jackman - he's an established, Tony-winning, classically trained musical performer and I think he's perfect for Valjean. But Russell Crowe as Javert would just be a bad bad joke...he simply doesn't have the voice to do it. Thats a deal-breaker. Economics and agency vs studio politics be damned, it simply WILL NOT WORK.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Valjean, at last! We see each other plain!

    by HarrysNemesis

    I can't wait, and it has renewed my faith in AICN (usually full of classless trolls) to see some Les Mis fans here. I'm skeptical of the star picks for singing as well -- the article doesn't say they sing -- perhaps they will have voice dubs for the songs. If the stars actually sing for this movie it is going to be one big pitch-corrected piece of crap.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Red, the blood of angry men. Black, the dark of ages past

    by Clio

    Les Miz is my favorite musical but I just don't see this cast as having the pipes to pull it off. I don't know anything of Jackman's broadway work, maybe he can sing.....but lordy, what a musical challenge he'll have before him. Russell Crowe....looks the part for Javert, but he will NEVER pull off the singing. Think Pierce Brosnan in "Mama Mia." Wretched. And if the film turns out not to be a musical, what's the point? And, oh, yeah, Victor Hugo's work is a great novel. The abridged version should be banned.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Do yourselves a favor and read the book. Abridged version.

    by DoctorWho?

    One of the best reads I've ever experienced.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    better version of "Master of the House"

    by berserkrl

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgybn0rABfM This version captures more of Thenardier's menace and viciousness.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 1:12 p.m. CST

    that_macready_thing, Stars number...

    by Durendal

    ...dammit, that guy is good, but give me Terrence Mann. It's always a bit of a pet peeve of mine to hear every note that lasts longer than a quarter beat to get the vibrato treatment. Mann could hold a note strong, loud, and steady. This guy is good, no doubt, but I just hate hearing the vibrato all the damned time. I'm of the mind that it should be used wisely and sparingly. I saw Gary Mauer as the Phantom and he was fucking awful for that very reason (in addition to being utterly fucking lifeless on stage). Every. Single. Fucking. Note. He'd dribble it HARD like a fucking basketball in a heavy, bellowing vibrato. It just killed Music of the Night. It's hard to be soft and seductive when you're singing like that. Dropping out of song all the time to add a little inflection was irritating, too. It's a beautiful song, so SING it, Javert!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Just keep any Jonas or Bieber far away from this movie.

    by themikejonas

    The 25th Anniversary concert was quite impressive until Nick Jonas showed up. I've never seen one ensemble actor completely bring down an entire production the way he did.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Zero interest in whatever the hell this is...

    by Jeditemple

    It's been made too many times. All it's doing is taking Crowe and Jackman away from starring in better movies.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 3:33 p.m. CST

    We're making a period musical

    by SenatorJeffersonSmith

    set anywhere in Europe. Quick! Get me Helena Bonham Carter!!!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    @jeditemple

    by bookant

    If by "too many times" you mean "never" - as in: there has never been a film adaptation of the musical, just some straight film adaptations of the book - you'd be correct.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Crowe was a struggling musician before he became an actor

    by seasider

    Under the stage name Russ Le Roq. The question now is, can he perform broadway tunes to a level that will satisfy most Les Miz fans?

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Why do they keep remaking the fucking Miserables?

    by chien_sale

    Didn'T we have one of those with Depardieu and then with Liam Neason?

  • I mean, is it just me or... ?

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Just wanna take the opportunity to say,

    by Ross Keefe

    That I too had a teacher like that in high school: Mr. Higgins. He was the Classical Studies/Latin1-4/Ancient Greek 1-4 teacher. We got to see Antigone at Harvard and Oedipus Rex (in the original ancient greek) in New York near times square. He was truly one of the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and the best teacher I ever had.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Jackman is an amazing singer ... but Crow?

    by MurderMostFowl

    CROW??? That doesn't fit. Both ValJean and Javert have to been really top notch singers. I just don't see it. Ph well, at least the musical is finally getting made. I remember getting a Playbill from 1992 I think it was that sid right on the back cover: LOOK for Les Miserables, the Musical movie adaptation coming this summer! Or something like that. Obviously ran into some problems... wonder what happened. I guess this also happened with the Phantom of the Opera. I had heard there was supposed to be a movie with the original London cast back in 1995 or so, and obviously we never got that.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:15 p.m. CST

    theseeker7 , the Neeson one is good but

    by MurderMostFowl

    It's not the musical. Both good in their own right.

  • Your history teacher taught you nothing and wasted your time.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Jackman in Oklahoma

    by MurderMostFowl

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwaWiC965EY Say what you want about the song, but the dude can sing. Crow not so much.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:56 p.m. CST

    Actual Actors

    by Kenny S

    Why does Hollywood insist on putting the biggest stars they can get into important roles? I have no interest in Crowe for this movie, I'd love to see them cast Hugh Jackman, and then actors that have already played the roles on Broadway/the West End, because there really are some stellar choices that would just blow this current possible movie cast away. And if Crowe does turn out to be another Gerard Butler type of casting disaster... I may never watch another one of his movies again.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 2:05 a.m. CST

    Jackman as Valjean? Really?

    by timesfool

    Can't see Jackman in this role; I can picture him as Javert, obsessive, hungry, pious and bloodthirsty. Crowe, too, but Crowe's shorter, stockier build is closer to the stage version of Valjean. I don't think either of them have the operatic qualities these roles require, either, Valjean being an angelic high tenor! Javert is somewhat less so, no doubt Crowe could pull it off. A better Valjean? John C. Reilly: he has the voice, the humility, the heartbreak. Slap a beard on him and (sorry, Mr. Cellophane), you'd notice him.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3:36 a.m. CST

    This doesn't need to be MADE

    by Marat

    Good story...could give shit less about musical. Also, a personal "FUCK YOU" to anyone stupid/moronic enough to write off Hugo's work as "stupid froggy shit." Enjoy your fucking "freedom fries." I'm not into the musical. Anyway, I'd rather see more French Revolution proper shit, because everything Les Mis comes out I have to correct some dipshit that Les Mis isn't the French Revolution as well as tell them all of the characters in Les Mis never fucking existed. You know how hard it is to tell theatre groupie girls this? They almost try killing you when you crush their bubble saying Enjolras never existed and wouldn't survive a month in during the fucking Terror (as they assume he's part of the original French Rev). Dumb fucks need to read a book or something.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Film's probably going to bomb anyway because: BETTANY

    by Marat

    Calling it now.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 5:09 a.m. CST

    This a joke?

    by John

    Who the fuck would pay to watch this shit????

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Maybe it's my historical research talking but..

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    How little history do you know if you think Enjolras could have seen Robespierre outside Mme Tussauds' chamber of horrors? And what is it with musical! Javert going off about living with Valjean? Did he even come across as interested? But I really have to share the worst production of les mis, check out Marius (in the beret): tiny url cbc4jy

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Wrong url

    by CreamCheeseAlchemist

    YouTube blacklick les mis one day more and watch in amazement

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 4:41 p.m. CST

    This is the alternative timeline version...

    by SmokingRobot

    They just give him the bread and he goes home and makes a sandwich.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Favourite musical ever

    by Captain Intenso

    If I live to see the day Hugh Jackman plays on of the greatest and most difficult roles in West End history, I think I will shoot myself for the hell of it. Tom, Working Title, Mr Jackman- kindly all fuck right off.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    The casting could be a whole lot worse

    by jim

    Jean Valjean = Ashton Kutcher Javert = Charlie Sheen Marius = Justin Bieber Cosette = Miley Cyrus Eponine = Kim Kardashian Fantine = Paris Hilton Enjorlas = Nick Lachey The Thenardiers = Snooki & The Situation (egads, I cringe to the very depths of my soul at the mere thought of any one of them coming within a 1000 miles of this project)

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