Playbill.com is reporting that producers for the upcoming musical movie of “Les Miserables” (which I was somehow unaware of) are in negotiations with Hugh Jackman to play the role of Jean Valjean. I am simultaneous excited and concerned. Modern Hollywood has such a bad record of successfully turning out a movie musical that does justice to the original stage version that the thought of them touching such a revered show is cause for concern. On the up side Cameron Macintosh is involved in the project so I think he should keep people from screwing it up too much. Also, the director is Tom Hooper, who most recently directed “The King’s Speech” which seemed very respectful of the material, so that’s a plus. To be frank, I’d probably pay to see Hugh Jackman lean against a wall. I’m sure he’d do it with great skill and aplomb. I’m a little concerned that he doesn’t have the vocal range, that’s a tough part to sing, but then he is aptly qualified for the ripping the shirt open scene, and there’s a Valjean you can easily believe can carry a body through the sewers of Paris even while wounded. Filming is supposed to start late this year in Europe so I’m anticipating, hoping, that by late 2012, maybe for Christmas we’ll have something to see. You can be sure this is a story I’ll be following with great interest.
Oh, and they’re talking to Paul Bettany for Javert. I’m not sure about that, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sing and that role isas important as Jean Valjean. You need a strong actor. I do think Mr. Bettany is an excellent, and often chamleon like, actor despite his spate of really bad sci-fi/action adventure bombs.
I just had a horrible thought! What if they cast that Jonas brother as Marius?!? You know, to get the “young female demographic”? Shudder the thought!