The upcoming film version of LES MISERABLES, which as previously reported has scheduled shooting for February in the UK, will star Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert.
The role, playing opposite Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean, had been speculated over for some time; today Variety confirmed the casting and added that the film's release date has been tentatively set for Dec. 12, 2012, pending Jackman's Wolverine shooting schedule. Tom Hooper will direct.
"[Being sung through] is not going to work on film," Jackman previously said of the project, "So there's now dialogue and songs. Tom's take on the film is very exciting."
Jackman won a 2004 Tony Award, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards for Best Actor in a musical for his portrayal of the 1970s singer-songwriter Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz. Jackman made his first major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the X-Men franchise, a role he reprised in the enormously successful X2 and 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. In 2009, Jackman took on the Oscar host as he fronted the 81st Annual Academy Awards.
Crowe, while not generally associated with musicals, fronted a rock band called Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts. He won the Australian Film Industry Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of an inner-city skinhead in the Geoffrey Wright film, Romper Stomper. In the late 1990s, Crowe transferred his acting ambitions to the USA with his breakout role in L.A. Confidential. He then won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Gladiator in 2001 and has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role: The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001).
LES MISÉRABLES originally opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on 8 October 1985, transferred to the Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985 and moved to its current home at the Queen's Theatre on 3 April 2004. When LES MISÉRABLES celebrated its 21st London birthday on 8 October 2006, it became the World's Longest Running Musical, surpassing the record previously held by "Cats" in London's West End. In January 2010, the West End production broke another record by celebrating its historic 10,000th performance.
Cameron Mackintosh is currently developing the film of LES MISÉRABLES with Working Title and Universal. Tom Hooper ('The King's Speech') is set to direct.