Russell Crowe Reportedly Set to Face Off Against Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables

russellcrowe300.jpgThough Anne Hathaway is still just rumored to be a potential addition to Tom Hooper's musical film adaptation of Les Miserables, star Hugh Jackman is already getting some company for the December 2012 release. According to Variety, Russell Crowe will play foil to Jackman's Jean Valjean as Inspector Javert. Could Crowe's past experience singing with his bands 30 Odd Foot of Grunts and The Ordinary Fear of God have given him the casting edge?

UPDATE: THR also reports that Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are in talks to play Thénardier and Madame Thénardier, the saga's villainous and greedy innkeeping couple.

Hooper (The King's Speech) will direct from William Nicholson's adaptation of the famous Broadway musical, which is itself based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same name. The stage version's original music by Claude-Michel Schoenberg will be used in the adaptation, so you can expect to hear Crowe warble Javert's best known ditties in his film musical debut, although it will reportedly not be sung through entirely and will instead feature new dialogue and songs.

But let's examine some previous examples of Crowe's crooning to get an idea of what could be in store:

Sultry and moody at the AFI awards:

This one's about going to the post office, I think:

Oh, a Crowe original that could work its way into an updated Les Miz score! Spanish bullfighting, 19th century France. Imagine a slightly nicer Javert singing this to Valjean, or something. Close enough!

I actually think Crowe has a lovely voice, full of charisma, even if his songs aren't quite for me. Should be interesting to hear how it translates the beloved tunes of Les Miserables, one of the world's best-known musicals. Verdict, Broadway-watchers?

• Russell Crowe set for 'Les Miserables' [Variety]


  • Theatregeek says:

    I'm fine with Russell as Javert, actually. One of his first stage roles was in Rocky Horror, and his role required some serious lungs, so I have high hopes for him. However, I do have reservations about Hathaway as Fantine, and whie Rush may be a grea Thernardier, I think that the role would be a perfect fit for John C Reily, who has proven his singing chops in Chicago and his comedic chops in Carnage, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, etc.

  • G says:

    Didn't Hooper know that since he's not married to Helena Bonham Carter, he doesn't have to mis-cast her in a part that requires singing?

  • Janma says:

    I'll go see it, of course. I do like Crowe as an actor and Crowe's voice is better than I would have expected. I can't quite hear him singing "Stars," though. (He just doesn't seem operatic.) But he certainly has the chops to pull it off. I am not at all sure about the other choices mentioned here.
    My problem with this kind of movie, and with Broadway as well, is that there are thousands of excellent actors and singers who don't get good roles... because their names aren't guaranteed to draw crowds. People with lesser talent get cast because they are "safe." Likewise, a lot of money goes into making musicals that recycle old songs ("Jersey Boys", "Mamma Mia") while very talented songwriters and playwrights-- who produce excellent new material-- are ignored. We are wasting a lot of talent.

  • Wow, I didn't know until today that Russel Crowe was even a musician. I respect him so much more now, knowing he has more passions than acting give him a lot more depth in my opinion.