Months ago, it was rumored that Russell Crowe was at the top of director Tom Hooper’s list to play the sinister Inspector Javert. THR now confirms that the actor will join Hugh Jackman in the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. In addition, Helena Bonham Carter, who starred in Hooper’s Oscar-winning picture The King Speech, is also in negotiations to take on the role of the Thenardier’s evil wife.
For those who haven’t read this classic book, Les Miserables is set against the backdrop of sociopolitical upheaval in 19th century France and revolves mostly around Jean Valjean (Jackman), a escaped convict who spent time in prison after stealing some bread to feed his sister. The story follows his attempt to redeem himself by becoming a force of good and grace in this world and his relationship with a little orphan named Cosette.
Crowe will play Javert, the uncompassionate police inspector who relentlessly pursues Jean Valjean for years while Bonham-Carter will be an absolutely perfect fit to play Madame Thenardier, the low-life wife of a corrupt innkeeper. While this is already turning out to be a stellar cast, Geoffrey Rush is also rumored to be in the running for the role of Monsieur Thenardier. It will be interesting to see all those folks singing although I would have been more interested, had the project been a straight drama rather than a musical.
Tom Hooper will direct a screenplay from William Nicholson and the movie will use Claude-Michel Schoenberg’s score from the musical. Universal and Working Title’s have set a Dec. 7, 2012 release date.
What do you think?