First ‘Les Misérables’ Images Reveal the Musical’s Star-Studded Cast

2 years ago by  

As is the case with most tentpole production nowadays, numerous photos have leaked from the set of Tom Hoooper’s Les Misérables throughout the course of principal photography on the Broadway musical adaptation.

Today, however, we can offer a studio-sanctioned early look at the star-studded period drama. That includes a more polished look at Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, and Anne Hathaway as Fantine – along with the first screenshots of Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn) and original Les Miz stage musical performer, Samantha Barks.

Les Misérables originated as a socially-conscious novel written by Victor Hugo, before it was adapted into a massively-popular, award-winning stage musical (over a century later). The film adaptation of the latter stars Jackman as Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who seeks out a new life – having spent 19 years in prison for the crime of stealing food (as to feed his sister’s family). However, when Valjean breaks parole, he incurs the wrath of Javert (Crowe), a by-the-rules police officer who becomes utterly obsessed with tracking Valjean down.

Other important players in the story (which takes place in 19th-century France) include Fantine (Hathaway), a single mother who takes desperate measures to support her daughter, Cosette – played by Isabelle Allen as a child, Seyfried as an adult. Also pivotal to the central Les Miz narrative is the revolution-minded Marius (Redmayne) and Éponine (Barks) – a character who (among other things) tragically carries a torch for Marius, despite his romantic interest in Cosette.

[SIDENOTE: As an Easter Egg for hardcore Les Miz fans - Colm Wilkinson, the man who originated the role of Valjean on stage, is playing the Bishop of Digne in the film adaptation.]

Enough with the melodrama plot talk – check out the first official images from Les Misérables (click on any thumbnail for the full version):

Based on the sets, costumes, and hair/makeup featured in these early photos, Les Misérables appears to offer a very convincing portrayal of poverty-stricken citizens and the rundown quarters of France during the 1800s. Chalk that largely up to the efforts of two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Eve Stewart, who looks to deliver a backdrop for Les Miz that’s as filthy and dilapidated – as her version of 1939 Britain in Hooper’s The King Speech was refined and lovely to look at.

The cast is pretty stellar too, especially when you consider that most of the film’s stars are both credible screen thespians and have proven musical chops to boot. Of course, they have to be – given that the movie’s musical numbers are being recorded on set, rather than during post-production (or with Glee-level amounts of auto-tuning). So, clearly, Hooper and his team are confident about their cast’s collective singing abilities.

Les Misérables opens in theaters around the U.S. on December 14th, 2012.

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Source: USA Today, Twitter

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28 Comments

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  1. I want to know why Hugh Jackman seems to have access to something that can shave his head hair that short and still has a long scraggly awkward beard.

    • maybe he survived a nuclear holocaust?

  2. The pic of Russell Crow and Hugh Jackman on the left next to Samantha Banks, Crow looks like Robert Downey Jr. from the side and it made me think, that dude needs to be in a musical with Jack Black.

    • Jack Black?? Scratch my eyes out please.

      • Okay. Hold on. It’s going to hurt a little bit cause I just cut my fingernails. :)

  3. I’m certain the film will be a “feast for the eyes”.
    And I’m also certain there will be some very fine performances in this film.

    My only major disappointment is that they chose a musical that contains such dreadfully awful music.

    There are so many far better musicals they could have chosen to bring to the screen.
    Although I understand the lure of the all-mighty dollar sign. They know tin ears will just gobble this up and cry “au génie” upon exiting the cinema for the 5th time.

    Still, I’d have liked to see them put to film something that truly deserves immortalizing on celluloid (or whatever one calls the digital equivalent these days).

    • There’s nothing wrong with disliking Les Miz – it’s mostly just a matter of opinion, of course.

      Still… don’t you think it’s excessively harsh (not to mention, not necessary) to immediately dismiss anyone who enjoys it as, basically, being clueless about good music and having a tin ear?

      • Yes, I do.

        …especially since “Les Miserables” has beautiful, well-crafted music.

        • unless you have a degree in musical theory, I don’t see where you get the “well-crafted” comment. The music of Les Miz is as banal as it gets. There’s nothing “well-crafted” about it at all.

          Les Miz is pop music. Simple, straightforward, absolutely nothing original about it pop music. It may as well be a musical with all Madonna and Lady Gaga. It has about that much originality.

          I don’t “dislike it”. I accept it for what it is. Which apparently, “real fans” of the musical don’t appreciate.

          It was written by a guy who can’t read music, who knows nothing of musical theory. So from that starting point, it cannot be “well-crafted” music. At best, it displays that the composer had a natural knack for tunes. A “knack for tunes”, however, is not a display of craftsmanship.

          This is mass-consumer product that is appreciated by people with limited musical expectations. Which is fine. That is what most pop music is.

          But please don’t try and pass it off for what it isn’t: “well crafted music”.

          • Actually, the music IS very well put-together, and the songs flow and fit quite well with the drama of the story. Thus, I will use the term “well-crafted”, and you can just get your snooty nose out of the butt of whatever Muse or Apollonian diety you seem SO desperate to represent. You want to act like a boorish snob? Fine…but, PLEASE, do it somewhere else.

            Clear enough for you? I can use more “well-crafted” words, if you’d prefer.

            • this is an open forum, anyone can say all the s*** they want

              • Sure…and I responded to his obnoxiousness as is MY right.

                Problem, seba?

          • Real fans of musicals? Gilbert and Sullivan wrote pop, Rogers and Hammerstein, Gershwin, Andrew Lloyd Weber, hell, for his time Mozart, wrote pop. What is wrong with writing for the common audience, your snobishness not withstanding I’m sure you belong with the rest of us. The music of Les Miz is well crafted and well presented.

            • I think he was actually cutting down fans of “Les Miserables”, specifically…and, of course, fans of pop music.

              In any case, you speak the truth. :)

          • Dude, we get it. You don’t like it and you want to sound suave and sophisticated and intelligent. But you don’t. You just sound like a doosh.

    • While i agree that there are better musicals out there, this one is perhaps the most anticipated for a film. It’s one of the longest running shows on Broadway and West end, productions all over the world. plus the scope of the movie with a 19th century war setting is more grand than most other musicals.

      This project is 20 years in the making and it’ll be nice to have a musical in the spotlight again, and i’m not talking about jukebox summer flicks (Mamma Mia, Rock of Ages, Hairspray) or epic flops (Phantom, Rent, Nine)

      not since Chicago as a musical got this much critical buzz. i can;t wait

      • I agree Nine was a huge flop. I liked Rent quite a bit (though I know it didn’t do well at the box office), and, as I recall, Phantom had a pretty good first week or so and may not have lost too much money.

  4. Helena Bonham – Cohen , where are thou ?

  5. Russell Crowe in that hat screams Javert from the novel.
    All concerned are trying to get this right and it looks like it.

    Les Misérables was my greatest Broadway experience
    seeing it four times with different casts which all managed
    to deliver the overall emotional impact that fueled its longevity.
    This cast seems up to the challenge and should have similar success.

  6. For anyone who lived through a time when it all went wrong and
    dreams of a time gone by when hope was high and life worth living,

    Les Misérables stands alone…

  7. Still think Jackman and Crowe should swap roles. Crowe has a more endearing quality to him and Jackman can play the intense antagonist well. Perhaps they were worried that Crowe could not pull off the musical numbers demanded for the role of ValJEan, as Jackman I believe has the better singing voice. Looking forward to this though.

    • Jean Val Jean is not endearing. He may be the hero, but the confrontation song between these two and the fight that goes with it, should be wonderful to see.

    • I thought the very same thing the moment that I heard the casting. Val Jean is supposed to be a huge, strong and – by the end of the musical – old man. Crowe fits the role better physically.

      Even so, I’m very excited. The casting for the Thernadiers is absolutely perfect.

  8. Whatever you think of the music of Les Mis, it is perfectly matched to the intensity of the story in a way that has had audiences in tears for almost 30 years. Given the director, cast, and desire for excellence, this will be a magnificent movie. December is a long way away.

  9. They filmed a few scenes in our town of Kettering – at Boughton house

  10. The universal appeal of Les Mis that spans decades
    is a record that speaks for itself and leaves
    its critics alone talking to themselves.

  11. I am going on record that if this does well at the box office you can just go ahead and hand it an Oscar

  12. i like very much…

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