There’s good reason for Musical Theater (and movie) fans to be excited to see The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s cinematic take on the Broadway musical version of Les Misérables.
Besides the impressive cast chock-full of stars who can both act and belt their lungs out quite well, the project will mark one of the rare occasions where actors and actresses will sing live on-camera, rather than pre-record their vocals and mime the lyrics while performing. Those classic Les Misérables (a.k.a. Les Miz) songs are also expected to be kept largely intact while making the jump to film form, courtesy of Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson (Elizabeth: The Golden Age).
Deadline has confirmed that Amanda Seyfried is in final negotiations to play the role of Cosette in Hooper’s Les Miz adaptation. Like the rest of the film’s cast, the popular young starlet also has a background in musical performance, having studied opera and trained with a Broadway coach during her teen years – not to mention, her singing in the Mamma Mia! movie and writing/recording of the single “Little House” for Dear John.
Twitch Film, meanwhile, is reporting that the role of Éponine has been offered to musician/actress Taylor Swift. For those who’ve been following this project’s progress, you may recall that Lea Michele (Glee) was previously thought to be all but a lock for the part. Clearly, that wasn’t the case after all (for better or for worse).
Here is a synopsis of the Les Miz musical (for those not familiar with the show):
Jean Valjean (in the film, played by Hugh Jackman), an ex-con, has transformed himself to become mayor and the owner of a factory. But when he is moved to help one of his former workers, Fantine (Anne Hathaway), Valjean’s past is brought to light, and he is forced to abandon everything to run from Javert (Russell Crowe), the chief of police, dead set on bringing him to justice.
Nine years later, Cosette (Seyfried), Fantine’s child, has been raised by Valjean and has fallen in love with Marius (Eddie Redmayne), a fighter in the French revolution (after whom another, named Eponine (Swift), also pines). With Javert on the hunt and a revolution tearing the city apart, in the end, everyone is forced to question what they’re willing to sacrifice in pursuit of love and justice.
Les Miz is a widely-beloved and grand-scale Broadway musical that boasts many a famous, award-winning tune; its influence is so widespread that even those who are complete strangers to the world of song-and-dance performance onstage will likely recognize the show’s iconic image (see above).
Hence, it’s all the more encouraging to see that the musical is getting a pretty royal treatment, as far as having some really solid creative talent working in front of and behind the camera goes. Even someone like Swift, whose acting abilities are… well, questionable at best, is (arguably) an excellent fit for her onscreen counterpart in the film.
Les Misérables will be released in U.S. theaters on December 7th, 2012.