Whereas certain other lucrative, award-winning Broadway stage musicals (like The Phantom of the Opera and Rent) have been brought to the big screen in recent years with mixed results - and by somewhat underwhelming filmmaking talent - producer Cameron Mackintosh's Les Misérables musical is getting more of a pristine treatment, thanks to the efforts of Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech).
Unofficial photos leaked from the Les Misérables set have provided early evidence that the film adaptation will very much look like an authentic period drama set in early 19th century France - albeit, one where the characters break out into song every so often. Today's batch of set pics do nothing but lend further credence to that idea.
The "heart" of Les Misérables is ex-convict Jean Valjean, who is being played by The Wolverine himself, Tony Award-winner Hugh Jackman. Previous Les Miz set images offered a sneak peek at Jackman as Valjean during (or right after) his days as a prisoner - along with Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, the policeman who devotes several years of his life to hunting Valjean down, after the latter breaks parole.
In the latest collection of Les Miz photos, we see just what Jackman will look like while portraying an older version of Valjean - alongside Anne Hathaway as the struggling factory worker (and unwed, single mother) Fantine.
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Maybe it's just her pixie crop hairdo, but Hathaway is looking even skinnier that usual (isn't that saying something) as Fantine - though, that is fitting, seeing how the character is a starving, lower-class worker who even chops off her own hair so as to provide for her daughter, Cosette (played by Amanda Seyfried, as an adult). Similarly, Jackman's weight loss and grey-speckled locks do help make him appear noticeably older than usual.
Certain hardcore Les Miz fans may have issues with Hollywood A-listers like Jackman and Hathaway being cast in the roles of Valjean and Fantine, respectively, but even they have to admit: the two are pulling out most (all?) of the stops, as far as embracing their respective characters' traditional appearance goes. Combine that with both thespians' proven musical performance skills, and it's all the harder to not get excited about seeing them in action.
Les Misérables is scheduled to hit theaters around the U.S. on December 14th, 2012. Of course, you can next catch Hathaway (with long hair) on the big screen in this summer's The Dark Knight Rises.
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