Here’s a novel concept: The actors Tom Hooper hired for his planned adaptation of the Broadway smash Les Miserables are being told they’ll have to sing their songs live on camera.
A source close to the production has told the Sun UK that, in order to attain the most authentic feel possible, the Oscar-winning King’s Speech director is requiring his cast – which includes Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Sacha Baron Cohen – to record their vocal live on camera during their scenes. Usually, cast members pre-record their vocal tracks in a studio, then lip-synch to the mixed and mastered songs while filming their scenes. Hooper, however, is taking his music straight to the source.
"First they have to learn the complex songs, then they'll have to get it right on set in front of the other stars and crew," the source confirms.
Which is exactly how they’d have to do Les Mis if they were attempting it on a theater stage, so perhaps Hooper plans a version of the show that replicates the Broadway experience (instead of removing the classic story from the confines of the stage and setting it in a broader, live-action setting). Truthfully, the move benefits Broadway veteran Jackman, a Tony Award winner for The Boy from Oz, while it might work against someone like Crowe, who relies on Method and likely needs the safety and comfort of a traditional movie set. Then again, Crowe did sign on for a movie musical, so maybe he’s trying his best to challenge himself as a performer. Will it work? Will audiences flock to Hooper’s Les Miserables? We’ll find out more next December when the musical reaches theaters.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.