LES MIS – it’s one of those things about which people who are familiar with it are very excited, and the rest of the world has no idea what it is or what is going on.
Info has been trickling into the internet for the past few months, and with any movie like this, people almost immediately get pretty rabid about the casting, so let’s muse over that for a while.
Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe are to play Jean Valjean and Javert, respectively. This is so perfect that I have no snarky comment to make about it. I am so excited it makes me feel ill.
Geoffrey Rush will play Thenardier in the new Les Mis movie. Bizarrely, both of these pictures are of him.
Another illness-level-of-excitement-inducing thing: Geoffrey Rush will play Thenardier and will be terrifyingly perfect for the role. Rush was actually already in the crappily adapted 1998 movie(the one with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman) as Javert, and he did a fine job (as he is a fine actor), but will be more impressive in a borderline caricature role like Thenardier, I think.
Mme. Thenardier will be played by Helena Bonham Carter. All right. Obviously. There is the risk that her in the role will be too similar to her Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.
Helena Bonham Carter: beautiful enough for Hollywood, strange-looking enough for caricatures.
It already seems like all her as Mrs. Lovett would need to become Mme. Thenardier is a little less goth and worse teeth. She will be terrifying and beautiful, to be sure, but I don’t know if that’ll be super interesting at this point, weirdly. Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
interests me more than another Helena Bonham Carter with eyeshadow sinking her cheekbones.
will be Fantine. This will make some people mad – especially considering the unexcited response to Alice in Wonderland
. Amy Adams was purportedly also considered for the role, and it’s sort of surprising that she didn’t get it – she seems to be the new Anne Hathaway-type character, with more popular movies (to the younger crowd) lately. This could be good for Hathaway. It could also be bad for the movie. Maybe that’s just because I still define Anne Hathaway by The Princess Diaries
for the role of Eponine has been released, which includes Scarlett Johansson
, Taylor Swift
, Evan Rachel Wood
, and Lea Michele
. This is mildly worrisome – some of my reasons might be petty but still, worrisome. Eponine is about 15; Scarlett Johansson is 27 – and wouldn’t easily or believably look much younger (she’s usually made to look older than she is) (look at the woman’s body, for goodness’ sake). At the thought of Taylor Swift, a blonde country singer, being cast as the neglected and not-as-pretty-as-Cosette Eponine, rabid teenage musical theater buffs will gnash their teeth. Lea Michele reportedly
“knocked it out of the park” at her audition – but I can’t see how Lea Michele could escape her role as the obnoxious and talented belting alto from Glee. Eponine being such a classic role does nothing to help that – it’s a role that Rachel from Glee would play. I do prefer Lea Michele in terms of her capability for annoyingness over the other 3; Eponine’s role is supposed to be tragic and self-pitying, not demure and victimized.
Eddie Redmayne in The Pillars of the Earth miniseries
Eddie Redmayne (Jack in the Pillars of the Earth Series) will be Marius; he will be appropriately annoyingly earnest and attractive.
They’re actually holding an open casting call for the role of Cosette in NYC. In the context of the rest of the cast, this obviously indicates the young, ingenue quality that the casting directors are looking for – an unknown talent (a la Robin Wright in The Princess Bride) in between Russell Crowe and Geoffrey Rush. It’s a pretty common take on Cosette – it might idealize the character a little too much, but that’s a large part of the novel itself.
Theater geeks are on the prowl as information comes out. There are rumors that the movie might be released in 2013, not 2012, as filming is expected to last through the summer.
What I’m nerdily looking forward to is seeing what they’re going to do with the accents – even though the film is set in France, the theater community is kind of used to hearing everything in cockney (as they all have the original London cast CD) – will they speak with an American accent? With a French accent (like the Russians speaking English with a Russian accent in K-19)? Or will they just throw some British accents in there to make it more foreign-seeming (like in the 1998 Les Miserables, The Prince of Persia, all of the Star Wars movies, Gladiator…)? So we’ll see what choice they make with that. One just hopes the singing will be good.