As announced last September by producer Cameron Mackintosh, ‘Les Miserables’ will be making its way to a cinema near you. At the time, details were fuzzy and specifics were virtually non-existent. Since then, we’ve found out Universal and Working Title will be the production houses bringing it to the screen and reigning Best Director Oscar winner Tom Hopper (The King’s Speech) will be directing the epic pic.
Variety reported that Hugh Jackman in discussions to play the lead in the upcoming film. Deadline Hollywood went a step further to say Jackman would step into the skin of Jean Valjean. Things seem to still be in the planning stages as no deal has been signed yet. No other actors have been attached to the project to date.
Hugh Jackman has always had close ties to Broadway from his Tony-Award winning turn in ‘The Man from Oz’ to co-starring with Daniel Craig in last year’s ‘A Steady Rain’ as well as hosting the Tonys three times. Recently, Jackman took the stage at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre for a one-man show back in May, and he’s been tied to the upcoming Broadway musical ‘Houdini.’ Jackman is also in line to film the latest chapter in the Wolverine saga, but the project has been delayed when director Darren Aronofsky bailed on the project.
‘Les Miserables’ is a musical based on the Victor Hugo novel about ex-convict Jean Valjean’s quest for survival during the French Revolution in 19th century France. Hollywood tried to take a stab at translating ‘Les Miz’ to the film canister back in 1998, bringing on board Liam Neeson, Uma Thurman and Geoffrey Rush. Ultimately, it was a box office flop, pulling in a measly $14 million domestically. I’m sure Mackintosh is hoping Jackman’s star wattage can turn this stage gem into Hollywood gold.