LES MISÉRABLES Cast: Taylor Swift and Amanda Seyfried Join Hugh Jackman
Being an avid fan of Broadway and cultural events as a New Yorker, I couldn't pass up seeing Hugh Jackman's one man show recently. Having cousins in Australia, I know how much the Aussies love him and being heartly entertained by this versatile performer's spectacle of singing, dancing and outright charismatic genius, I can understand why this down to earth, Wolverine is so beloved.
So when Jackman announced that there could be no extension of his Broadway extravaganza because he would soon begin work on the role of Jean Valjean in the film version of Les Mis, there were rollicking audience cheers and wild applause. Ah ha, I thought! Who better than the Wolverine himself to bring in a crossover audience of men and women to see one of the longest running most successful Broadway musicals. Jackman's appeal to both men and women (women scream more, though, when he barges out the stage door and signs autographs) will bring both to the film (as it did his Broadway show) even though many may not have seen the musical on tour or on Broadway.
The producers are taking no chances, it appears, and have assiduously cast individuals who will draw at the box office because of their followings. Who better than Russell Crowe, fellow Aussie and former "gladiator" to take on the part of Valjean's misguided antagonist, Javert. Followed by Sacha Baron Cohen as villainous Thenardier, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Aaron Tveil, as Enjolras, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Helena Bonham Carter as wicked Madame Thenardier, the film promises to be an event that transcends age groups and insures box office, at least in the initial weeks. Whether it is all that producers and the director Tom Hooper hope it will be remains to be seen. However, all appear to be traveling down a steady and solid path at this point.
Added to the mix after director Tom Hooper auditioned Scarlette Johannsson, Lea Michele and Evan Rachel Wood in November, Twitchfilm.com and Broadwayworld.com reported Wednesday that Hooper made his decision and Universal offered the role of Eponine to country-pop singer Taylor Swift. Opera-trained MammaMia! film star Amanda Seyfried has been offered Cosette.Continued on the next page