Hugh Jackman In Costume As Jean Valjean On Les Miserables Set
Les Misérables, Tom Hooper's star-stuffed follow-up to his Academy Award-winning biopic The King's Speech, is currently shooting in London, England. But despite the best efforts of the filmmakers to keep the set and costumes under wraps, Adelaide Now has snagged this sneaky peek at Hugh Jackman in full-on Jean Valjean mode. From the looks of it, this is for a scene early in the film, when Valjean is referred to only as the lowly Prisoner 24601. Covered in squalor and wearing rags, he sports a gaunt look and unfortunate haircut that will probably soon be all the rage in Brooklyn.
As a long-time admirer of the Broadway show Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo's intimidating novel of the same name, I've been following the film's development with a critical eye. Snagging A-listers like Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman to play the dueling leads of Inspector Javert and Jean Valjean has earned Hooper some detractors, but each has touted singing skills, and brings with them the promise of financiers. Fair enough. Then came casting news of Anne Hathaway as Fantine, which I saw as a marked improvement over the 1998's non-musical movie choice of Uma Thurman. The addition of Sacha Baron Cohen as the devious Monsieur Thénardier thrilled me as I imagined his raucous version of "Master of the House," but the casting of Helena Bonham Carter as his nagging wife made me groan. Then there was the whole Taylor Swift thing, which at least didn't result in actually casting her. Basically, the casting as a whole has proved a rollercoaster ride for my expectations.
Now, I still worry that a story as complex and winding as Les Misérables cannot be properly captured in a medium with as short a running time as film favors. Yet this glimpse at Jackman displays an intriguing and gritty attention to detail that inspires hope…at least for now.
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