We heard last month that Hugh Jackman was the main contender for a major role in Tom Hooper‘s adaptation of the novel and stage play Les Miserables, but who he would be playing wasn’t entirely clear. Speaking to TheDailyMail (via ThePlaylist), the actor not only said that he’s taking on the role of Jean Valjean, but there was some new information given out about the pending musical.
Shooting on the picture will commence this February, after Jackman has finished filming The Wolverine. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, and we could have assumed this before, seeing as Fox wants to get that superhero film in production rather soon. He also revealed that the movie will differ from the play in at least one key respect — while the stage version was absent of spoken dialogue, the actor said that this approach is “not going to work on film,” so “there’s now dialogue and songs.” That seems like a change that feels entirely needed and appropriate; it would be interesting to see them only do songs, but, as he said, that probably wouldn’t work in a feature. They have an entire novel to work with when crafting dialogue, so there shouldn’t be a big challenge in that department.
Also mentioned was Russell Crowe‘s interest in taking on the part of the other lead character, Inspector Javert. All that’s mentioned is that he’s “keen” on the role, which is nice, but that likely won’t go anywhere. Previous reports have indicated that Paul Bettany is the main contender for the part, and TheDailyMail thinks that the Beautiful Mind actor will get it. Crowe has singing experience with his various music projects, but it’s hard to see someone like him in the part. Think of Bettany: He has a much more slender, sinister feel to him than Crowe, and he could do a great job with the character.
As ScreenRant (via Filmonic) Jackman also gave out details on another project of his, a little sequel called The Wolverine. Speaking to a crowd yesterday at Comic-Con in promotion of Real Steel, he let slip who he’ll be taking on in the upcoming movie. His quote is as follows:
“I’m filming Les Miserables in February, but before that I will be filming Wolverine 2 in October. Chris McQuarrie has written a fantastic script and it should turn out really good. I’ll fight the Silver Samurai in it so that should be exciting. Most of the filming will take place in Japan.”
The Silver Samurai is said to be the “half-brother of Wolverine’s lover Mariko Yashida.” He can “generate a field of tachyonic energy around his katana that allows it to cut through almost any material on earth except for adamantium.” Adamantium, for those who don’t know, is what Wolverine’s claws are made of — maybe he’ll make it out alive.
We know that 3:10 to Yuma‘s James Mangold is directing the film, with a script from (as mentioned above) The Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie. I’d like to be optimistic about the thing, because a good Wolverine movie — especially after the so-much-better-than-it-should-have-been X-Men: First Class — would be refreshing to see. I just don’t find myself building any enthusiasm for it, and as someone who first heard about Silver Samurai when I read Jackman‘s quote, this news (sadly) leaves me unaffected in just about every way.
Would Crowe make a good companion to Jackman for Les Miserables? Is Silver Samurai a villain who can make you excited for The Wolverine?