Russell Crowe joins Hugh Jackman in 'Les Miserables' musical


Image Credit: Peter Kramer/AP Images

So it seems tough guys do dance.

Russell Crowe has signed on to join the big-screen adaptation of the musical Les Miserables, playing the heartless police inspector Javert, who persecutes Hugh Jackman’s impoverished Jean Valjean after the man steals bread to feed his family, Universal and Working Title confirmed today.¬†

Tom Hooper, Oscar-winning director of The King’s Speech, will helm the film, which is aiming for release Dec. 7, 2012. William Nicholson (Gladiator, Shadowlands) has adapted the screenplay from the long-running play based on Victor Hugo’s sprawling 1862 novel.

Sir Cameron MacKintosh, who produced the stage version of the musical, is also producing the film, and praised the two lead actors for taking on roles that are not just challenges to act, but also sing: “Not only were they born to play these roles vocally, but they thrillingly¬†inhabit this great score.”

Sounds like someone must be a fan of 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.

On Twitter: @Breznican

Read More:
‘Les Miserables’ 25th anniversary concert

Comments (128 total) Add your comment
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  • Romy

    I hope they’re thinking of getting Lea Michele as Eponine!

    • Anonymous

      And Justin Timberlake as Marius!

      • uu

        F.U.C.K. THAT S.H.I.T.

      • uu


      • jen

        JT should only stick to pop music – not theatre music. And, I still feel he was the weakest part of The Social Network. Armie Hammer, Andrew Garfield, & Jesse Eisenberg easily left poor Timberlake in their dust.

      • Hmm

        Justin Timberlake as young Cosette

    • Amanda

      i agree! that would be just perfect

      • Lily

        x 3 !

    • SC

      She’d be great, but there’s no way she has time to film it while doing “Glee”, unless the writers were willing to outright write her out of a couple of episodes.

    • h8ter

      Lea Michelle sucks!!! She is talented but would ruin the movie if she was casted. No offense.

      • SC

        She “sucks” but is “talented”?

      • Paris

        I love how you says she sucks and is talented. I guess the more talented, the more you suck. Your name fits you.

      • HD

        I get what the poster is saying. Lea is talented but only on Glee, that act ain’t going to make it no where else and honestly I don’t want to see it anywhere else. Glee has turned into its own entity and that’s how it needs to stay. I really don’t see any of them really breaking out and there’s a reason for that. They suck in real life!

      • gataroo


      • Laura K.

        You do realize that Lea was an established Broadway star before Glee? And that she actually played Young Cosette in Les Miz on Broadway? Not saying I like her as Eponine, but to say her “act” won’t work elsewhere is just ignoring facts entirely.

      • jules

        Eponine needs to be likable and heartbreaking. Lea Michele is not either of those.

      • greg

        FYI: it’s “cast,” not “casted.”

      • AB

        Maybe she’s talented at sucking.

      • AM

        Well considering that she was actually in Les Mis on Broadway you are in fact WRONG- that she would ruin it. She played Young Cosette. And regardless of whether you like her or not- she IS talented and would be good in the role.

      • Isabelle

        Agreed she over does everything. I saw her as Eponine in the Hollywood Bowl and I didn’t like her performance. Evan Rachel Wood would be a good Eponine

      • LP

        Lea Michele is an amazing singer and would be perfect for the part of Eponine. She has played the part before in the Hollywood Bowl plus she played young Cosette on Broadway when she was 8. She also was in Broadway productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Ragtime and originated the role of Wendla in the musical Spring Awakening. When you get a starring role in a Broadway show then you can complain about Lea Michele’s “lack of talent” but until then keep your completely untrue comments to yourself.

      • anon anon

        Has anyone ever heard or seen her work in Spring Awakening? It’s so different than Rachel Berry and the syrup sweetness, over-dramatized feeling of Glee. She was actually quite the force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, her association with Glee seems to be more a curse than a blessing. Sure, she has the name recognition now to potentially be considered for film roles, but Glee is such a polarizing, Tween Beat sort of show that it hurts her credibility. I’m not sure that she can be taken seriously anymore.

      • LOL

        the funny thing is that he thinks he can just replace “a”s with “8”s. his name effectively spells out “hate-ter”

      • LizzieK

        I agree with some the above posters. Lea Michele’s voice in Spring Awakening and in the workshops of Nero with Shiek and Sater is beautifully haunting and it’s a shame that some people don’t know about it or are not willing to look at her other work besides Glee. But she is probably way to busy to take on the role.

        If only we could get her old Spring Awakening co-star Jennifer Damiano out of that Godawful Spiderman show she could pull off Eponine very well! And Jayne Weisner (Sweeney Todd) would make an excellent Cosette!

    • Mara

      It’s frustrating cause Lea would be the perfect choice cause she has both the theater experience in the role and also is now an A list Hollywood name, but sadly Glee is like a 11 months a year job for its stars.

    • Liz Lemon

      I want Emma Watson as Cosette.

      • BuffyJunkie

        Thank you! I heard she may be up for the role. Hopefully she can sing… I think Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman are great choices but I was hoping Ewan McGreggor would play Valjean. Anything to hear him sing again. Looking forward to more casting announcements.

      • Liz Lemon

        Yes, she is up for the role. She’s currently in New York at the moment possibly going for a second round of auditions.
        Time I heard she was considered, she just seemed perfect for Cosette. Plus, she has French roots.
        Last I heard, Lucy Hale is the top pick for Eponine.

      • Ryan

        McGreggor, although very good, could not handle Valjean’s singing part. He would be a good Marius w/ makeup artistry.

    • Doris

      Totally agree! Lea Michele must play Eponine–and Elphaba when they finally make Wicked!

    • Aaron

      She’s terrible. I heard her sing On My Own at some charity event. It’s on Youtube. F*cking horrendous! She oversings everything!

    • Ally

      NOOOOOOOO for the love of all that is good. HELL NO!!

  • JJ Abrams

    can’t wait

  • Michelle

    I love the stage production. Hope the film turns out well.

  • Barb

    Le Miz is my favorite musical. I can so see Hugh as Jean Valjean and Lea Michele would be a great Eponine.

  • Sydney

    Well, physically, I can totally see Russell Crowe as Javert. Can he sing? I also think Jackman is too pretty to be ValJean. But he can sing. Who will the female leads be? All this being said, I’m quite certain that I’ll see and sing along with the finished product.

    • SC

      Crowe has his own rock band, and sings lead for them. I don’t think he’s done many showtunes, but presumably they think he can be brought up to speed.

      • Dee

        Crowe started off doing theatre in Australia. He was in Rocky Horror there for a while where he certainly sang. EW had a link a while ago to some snippets on YouTube from his Rocky Horror performances.

      • Ann

        Eww…I just watched some youtube videos of his singing. It’s awful! It’s just as bad as Gerard Butler’s for Phantom. I hope Crowe takes the time to train his voice to sound better….

  • sam

    Why do they keep casting actors in musicals who can not sing? And please not Lea Michele. She is a horrible singer.

    • Lily

      that is laughable

    • SC

      She was good enough to be offered the role of Eponine on Broadway, and to play the young Cosette.

    • Kay

      If there’s one thing that girl can do, it’s sing.

    • Aaron

      I agree, Sam. She may be fine on Broadway, but I am not particularly a fan of her singing. Theater and film are two entirely different entities. You can be a bit over-the-top and exaggerate more on the stage, but on film you need to be a bit more subtle and restrained. Michele is neither subtle nor restrained.

    • AM

      Just because you don’t like her doesn’t make her a “terrible singer”. She’s got an amazing voice and huge range. Let’s stop confusing out opinions with facts. She is a classically trained, Broadway-veteran. I don’t particularly like her but I would never lie about her talent just to make my point.

      • c5b12345

        Actually she has no range at all only about two octaves. She can sing but would not fit for the film, though if there was a part for to play it would have to be Eponine because it’s the only part she has the range for.

    • AM

      Just because you don’t like her doesn’t make her a “terrible singer”. She’s got an amazing voice and huge range. Let’s stop confusing our opinions with facts. She is a classically trained, Broadway-veteran. I don’t particularly like her but I would never lie about her talent just to make my point.

    • Anais

      Actors who cannot sing? Jackman won a Tony on Broadway for his (singing) role in “The Boy from Oz;” Lea Michele is a longtime Broadway (singing) performer (she was in Les Miz at age 8) and Russell Crowe is in a rock band.

  • SC

    Great actor. Be interested to see how he handles the part.

  • B

    Oh, my, both of them in this? Too bad it’s over a year until we can see it!

  • bob

    wasn’t anne hathaway attached to this as fantine?

    • Too Old to be this big a fan

      Yes she was, and apparently His Hughness is lobbying hard for her to get the part.

      I wanna know who they cast as Thenardier. I’d like to see either Kelsey Grammer or Hugh Laurie.

  • googie


  • Joe

    Russell AND Hugh?!? SHHH-WING!!!

    • HD

      I know that’s right!

  • dj

    Marion Cotillard IS Fantine!

    • Liz Lemon

      I love that idea!!

    • The Dude

      love her as an actress, but…c’mon, how awkward would it be if she were the ONLY actual french person in the movie?

      • charlotte

        That’s funny.

      • Kay

        She is my ideal choice for Fantine and I would love if she were cast, but I agree she would make everyone look silly being the only true francophone.

      • Lola

        Not sure why it would be awkward for her to be the only French person in the movie. The bigger question is if she can sing since Les Mis is all singing English lyrics, no spoken words. So I’m not sure what the actor’s nationality has to do with it.

      • Laura K.

        Um, she won an Oscar playing Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. She was also in the (otherwise pretty awful) film adaptation of the musical Nine. Yeah. she can sing. Actually, she’d be great as Fantine.

      • AM

        @Laura K- you do realize she was lip-synching in La Vie En Rose, right? That was Edith Piaf’s ACTUAL voice. Not hers. But- she did actually sing in Nine and she has a decent voice, perhaps not the range required for Le Mis but decent.

    • Amy

      Yes, yes, and YES

  • penny

    Marion Cotillard doesn’t have theatre vocal chops.

  • penny

    Marion Cotillard just doesn’t have theatre vocal chops.

    • Hmm

      As luck would have it, this isn’t theatre. This would be a film.

    • dj

      youtube “jenifer bartoli and marion cotillard ” – she can sing

    • Maddie

      She did pretty good in Nine if you ask me.

  • Dale

    Just as she’s shown in the film version of Phantom, and the U.S. version of Shamless – I say cast Emmy Rossum as Eponine, Cosette, or even Fantine.
    Another maybe radical choice is to go color-blind by casting Lea Salonga as Fantine. Just watch her nail the part in the Les Miz 25th Anniversary performance.

    • JD

      I’d love to see Catherine Zeta-Jones as Fantine

      • Broadway Baby

        I’m sorry, JD: Catherine Zeta-Jones is stunning and wonderful to watch as an actress onscreen. For my money, she is emphatically not a singer, even though she won an Oscar for “Chicago”. Emmy Rossum, Marion Cotillard, both great choices for Fantine. I agree that Lea Michelle is not quite right for Eponine, but maybe it’s just that she plays her Glee character so brilliantly that we can’t think of her as Eponine. I saw her on Broadway in “Spring Awakening” and she was mesmerizing. Very much NON Rachel. And a great, great singer.

      • JD

        Don’t take that bet, Baby. An Oscar and a Tony for performances in musicals (one of them a Sondheim) says you’d lose.

    • c5b12345

      Lea Salonga would be amazing as a Les Mis Vet. twice and worldly loved to play Fantine, but sadly the parts been cast.

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