The latest take on the classic Victor Hugo novel, Les Misérables, is set for release in the coming weeks.
The story – nowadays also affectionately known as ‘Les Mis’ – centres around a decades-long game of cat-and-mouse between Jean Valijean, an ex-convict who becomes a mayor, and Inspector Javert, the cop with a grudge who is hell-bent on putting him back inside. Whilst the story obviously made for a best-seller, it is now also held in equally high regard as a musical, having begun in Paris way back in 1980.
As for the movies, this will be the thirteenth big-screen adaptation of the book, only this time it will also be based on the musical version. So, the burning question at a time like this: can any of the cast hold a note between them? Three of the supporting roles are played by Amanda Seyfried, who appeared in Mamma Mia!, along with Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, both of whom more than held their own in Sweeney Todd.
On the subject of Mamma Mia!, Piers Brosnan hasn’t been cast – so far, so good. Now we get on to the main protagonists, Messrs Valijean and Javert. Audiences will be forgiven for detecting a slightly antipodean feel to proceedings, as the characters are played by Hugh Jackman (Valijean) and Russell Crowe (Javert). Did I just hear a collective double-gulp? Well do not despair, as anyone who tuned into Saturday Kitchen this past weekend will have heard renowned tenor Alfie Boe, who himself enjoyed a stint as Valijean in the West End, waxing lyrical about Jackman’s vocal talents. High praise indeed.
Music and singing have been a passionate sideline for Mr Crowe for many years, particularly with his own rock band, Fifty Odd Foot Of Grunts, so no shortage of talent there either. Far be it from a mere Rooblaer to stick his nose in, but might I suggest Jackman or Crowe for the starring role in the anticipated Michael Hutchence biopic?
Les Misérables will premiere in the US on Christmas Day, while here in blighty it will debut on January 11th.