According to a report in London's Daily Mail this morning, powerhouse producer Cameron Mackintosh is planning a big screen version of his international monster hit, Les Miserables. Reportedly, Mackintosh has teamed up with the London-based film studio Working Title to collaborate on the project.
Les Miserables has been a staple at the Queen's Theatre in the West End now for twenty-four years - the longest running musical in West End history - having generated a profit of a cumulative £30 million. And this is just the London production alone. The show enjoyed a 16-year run on Broadway from 1987 - 2003, and was revived again in 2006 (this production closed last year). This is also not to mention the countless numbers of tours and licensed productions throughout the world, cast albums, t-shirts etc. that have made the musical effectively it's own industry.
Les Miserables was composed in 1980 by Claude-Michel Schonberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Based on the 1862 Victor Hugo novel of the same name, it is set in early 19th-century France and follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others. Songs from the Tony Award-winning score have been recorded by the likes of some of the industry's most famous voices, including those of Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, David Essex, and Michael Crawford.
But why another movie, now? Recall, the show was releases as a non-muiscal film starring Geoffrey Rush, Liam Neeson and Claire Danes in 1998, to a lukewarm reception.
In fact, a film adaptation of the musical has been in development, on and off, since the late 1980s. Alan Parker was reported to be attached to the adaptation at an early stage. In 1992, Cameron Mackintosh announced that the movie would be directed by Bruce Beresford and co-produced by Tri-Star Pictures, but this project was abandoned some time later.
After several years in rocky development, interest seems to have resurfaced due to none other than one Susan Boyle of Britain's Got Talent, whose rendition of the show's "I Dreamed a Dream" garnered 85 million hits on YouTube and turned her into an international sensation.
To date, no directors or casting announcements have been made.
To read the full report in the Daily Mail, click here.