Tom Hooper Will Direct The Les Miserables Movie Musical

By Katey Rich 2011-03-24 20:06:57discussion comments
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Tom Hooper dutifully spent nearly six months promoting The King's Speech, turning the film from a festival darling into a Best Picture winner, and nabbing his own Best Director trophy in the process. Since February's Oscar ceremony Hooper has been keeping quiet and weighing his next move-- he wasn't attached to any new film before The King's Speech was released, but according to Deadline he may have finally figured out what he wants to do next.

As rumored back in February, around the same time he turned down the job of directing Iron Man 3, Hooper is making a deal at Universal to direct Les Miserables, an adaptation of the gigantic Broadway musical based on Victor Hugo's novel. There's no promise that it will definitely be his next film, but with production aiming to start before the year is over and a huge amount of pre-production required for a film this large, it kind of seems like the only choice.

The 1998 movie Les Miserables was only a take on the original Hugo story, which would make Hooper's film the first movie adaptation of the musical that's been running seemingly continuously worldwide since it opened in 1985. The epic story revolves around the French Revolution, focusing on the convict Jean Valjean-- arrested for stealing a loaf of bread-- and the dogged inspector, Javert, who wants him brought back to jail after breaking parole. Full of rousing speeches, plaintive ballads-- "On My Own," "Castle on a Cloud"-- and a showstopper attack on the Bastille, it's classic 1980s Broadway cheese, and yet, a story so large it kind of demands to be seen on the big screen.

Hooper has only two films behind him, the earlier one being The Damned United, and has no serious professional background in musical theater. But hey, the guy has an Oscar speaking to his talents, and nobody ever wants to invest in giant musicals anymore. If this is the next gamble Universal wants to take on an artist, I'll be happily singing along in the audience when it hits theaters.
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