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Casting Net: Samantha Barks, Ken Stott join 'A Hundred Streets'

A handful of new cast members have been added to director Jim O’Hanlon‘s A Hundred Streets, which follows London residents from all backgrounds whose paths cross in a turn of dramatic events. Joining the previously announced Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton are Samantha Barks (Les Miserables), Ken Stott (The Hobbit), Charlie Creed-Miles (The Fifth Element), Steve Mackintosh (Luther), Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey), and Emma Rigby (Plastic). Barks will play Lotte, ex-girlfriend to rich playboy Jahmal (Adaam Bakri), who re-enters his life alongside her best friend (Rigby); soon, Jahmal makes a life-changing choice that sends him on the run with ex-special forces security guard, Gordon (Mackintosh), in hot pursuit. Creed-Miles will play cab driver George who hopes to become a father but first must pull himself back together when his life is torn apart. Cullen will play Emily’s (Arterton) handsome friend from her school days who interferes as she tries to pull her life back together, while Stott will play aging actor Terence who connects with young drug dealer Kingsley (Franz Drameh) and helps him aspire for more. Leon Butler wrote the script. Butler, Elba, Pippa Cross, Carl F. Pauwels, Farah Durrani, and Ros Hubbard will produce. [Variety]

Kevin Dillon (Entourage) will play a New York motorcycle cop who gets caught up in the race to save John Lennon in the The Lennon Report. Jeremy Profe and Walter Vincent wrote the script; Profe will also be making his directorial debut. The film follows real people—including WABC-TV producer Alan Weiss, who was being treated for an unrelated injury and broke the story of the assassination—who were at the Roosevelt Hospital as doctors and nurses attempted to save Lennon. Francisco Productions’ Gabriel and Rafael Francisco will produce. [THR]

Samantha Barks and Cameron Mackintosh talk 'Les Miserables' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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For fans who grew up singing “One Day More” into a hairbrush and were mighty nervous about a big-screen version that stayed closer to Victor Hugo’s original work, but lost a lot of the musical moments they’d fallen in love with, they may owe a thank-you card to director Tom Hooper and Mackintosh. “There was a lot more dialogue in the original screenplay,” Mackintosh explained. “And then Tom said, ‘What I want you to do is turn the dialogue and [put it] into the form the show is in.’ And I think by setting us to work, both to deconstruct the stage musical and take the material and remake it as a story that happens to be told through music for the movies, that was the key to shooting that laid the groundwork for the film to be successful….One of the other things [Hooper] said to me when we first met was that he felt we should record [the songs] live, which is something I felt passionately about for years. …[Singing live] was a risky step, but it was a risk that paid off.”

Watch below for an EW exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette about the live singing on location: READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and 'Les Mis' cast to sing at Oscars

In addition to musical performances by Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones, and Barbra Streisand — and a closing musical number from Seth MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth — Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced the names of the actors involved in the show’s live Broadway tribute, which will spotlight Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Misérables.

The actors involved have all starred in big-screen adaptations of the three featured musicals, including Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls; Catherine Zeta-Jones from Chicago; and Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham Carter from this year’s Les Misérables.

Read more:
Melissa McCarthy among latest names added as presenters at Oscars
Oscars: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, and more presenters announced
‘Les Mis’ returning to Broadway in 2014 as re-imagined adaptation
‘Behind the Ballot’: Film editors weigh in on their craft
‘Behind the Ballot’: Production design
‘Behind the Ballot’: Oscar makeup and hairstyles
‘Behind the Ballot’: Video series launches

'Les Miserables': Reigniting the eternal heartache of Eponine and Marius

Eponine and Marius are not quite star-crossed lovers. They’re the couple that never was. The couple that, had Victor Hugo focus-tested the plot of Les Mis, would have probably won out over the pairing of Marius and Cosette. Scenes would have been rewritten to fulfill that overwhelming reader desire for Eponine to win his heart in the end.

But Hugo and Les Misérables don’t care about giving audiences something nice and pleasant, and frankly, having a crush that doesn’t like you back is the very least of anyone’s problems in 19th century France.

The film adaptation, opening Dec. 25, stays fairly true to the stage show, but Tom Hooper and company also added some narrative elements from Hugo’s novel, giving depth and backstories to characters that might have seemed too slight for the stage. Marius gets a family history, and Eponine is presented with more of a moral conflict, and they become richer characters because of it.

EW already talked to Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman about the roles of Fantine and Jean Valjean, now we hear what supporting actors Samantha Barks (a newcomer to film who played the role in London) and Eddie Redmayne (best known for My Week with Marilyn) had to say about creating that eternal long, lost love between Eponine and Marius.

READ FULL STORY

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