Les Miserables, often shortened by theatre fans to Les Mis, is London's longest running musical and is being adapted for the big screen. The movie version will be produced by Working Title Films and distributed by Universal Pictures and is due for release on 14 December 2012.
Les Miserables is based on a classic French novel of the same name by author Victor Hugo and tells the story of an escaped convict by the name of Jean Valjean and his constant pursuer through the years, Inspector Javert. The musical is written by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer, with additional material being written for the film by William Nicholson. The Les Miserable movie will be directed by Tom Hooper of The King's Speech fame.
It is also Broadway's third longest running musical after The Phantom of the Opera and Cats.
Much anticipation and excitement has surrounded the casting of the movie version. The Les Miserable movie cast features big names as well as stalwarts of the west end stage.
One Day More from Les Miserables
Who is in the Les Miserable Movie Cast?
Hugh Jackman is most famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series of films, but his origins are in musical theatre, having appeared in various roles on Broadway and in the West End including Curly in Oklahoma! (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award), Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard (for which he won a Variety Club Award) and Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz (for which he won a Tony Award) . He is set to win an honorary Tony Award for his outstanding theatre achievements and fund-raising efforts.
Jackman plays Jean Valjean, a convict who breaks his parole after release from Toulon prison. He has served 19 years in a chain gang for stealing a loaf of bread.
Hugh Jackman singing the opening number at the Oscars
Russell Crowe found fame in the Ridley Scott movie Gladiator. He was subsequently nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role three years in a row. He has won a Golden Globe and one Academy Award. Like his co-star Hugh Jackman, Crowe is originally from Australia, where he began his career appearing in the daytime soap opera Neighbours.
He plays Javert, a police inspector who, after Valjean breaks his parole, becomes obsessed with hunting him down and imprisoning him again.
Russell Crowe in the soap opera Neighbours
Anne Hathaway is an actress who has enjoyed a varied career on stage and screen. She won an Emmy for her voice role in The Simpsons and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Rachel Getting Married. Her first years as a film actress centred around family movies such as The Princess Diaries, before moving into comedies such as The Devil Wears Prada and dramas such as Brokeback Mountain and One Day.
Hathaway plays Fantine, a factory worker who is eventually forced to turn to prostitution to support her daughter Cosette.
Anne Hathaway singing a parody of On My Own from Les Miserables at the Oscars
Sacha Baron Cohen has created a long list of memorable comedy characters including Ali G, Borat, and Bruno. He has also appeared in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical masterpiece Sweeney Todd.
In the Les Miserables movie he plays the innkeeper Thenardier, who is a criminal and father of Eponine.
Sacha Baron Cohen in Sweeney Todd
Helena Bonham-Carter is a celebrated British actress and has appeared in several films directed by her husband Tim Burton as well as the acclaimed British movie The King's Speech which is also directed by Tom Hooper whom she has been reunited with for Les Miserable.
She plays Madame Thenardier, the wife of Thenardier (played by Sweeney Todd co-star Sacha Baron Cohen). They are the guardian's of Fantine's daughter Cosette, whom they abuse.
Helena Bonham Carter in sweeney Todd
Eddie Redmayne is a bright young British talent, but is entirely new to musical theatre. He took intensive singing lessons to prepare for the role in Les Miserables. He previously appeared in My Week with Marilyn opposite Michelle Williams and as Angel in the film of Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Marius is a student revolutionary who falls in love with Cosette and is friends with Eponine, who is secretly in love with him.
Eddie Redmayne interview about Les Miserables the movie
Amanda Seyfried is no stranger to musicals having played the leading role of Sophie in the movie adaptation of Mamma Mia, which features the songs of Abba. She started her career in soap operas and went on to star in the movies Mean Girls, Red Riding Hood and Letters to Juliet.
Seyfried plays Cosette in Les Miserables, adopted daughter of Jean Valjean who eventually marries Marius.
Amanda Seyfried singing Honey Honey from Mamma Mia
Les Miserables the movie marks Samatha Barks' film debut. She has previously played Eponine on stage in the West End production and in the 25th anniversary concert of the show at the O2 arena. She was told she had won the role in the film at the curtain call of Oliver! in which she was playing Nancy. She originally came to the public's attention on the BBC talent show I'd Do Anything.
Eponine is the daughter of the Thenardiers and is in love with Marius.
Samantha Barks singing On My Own from Les Miserables
Aaron Tveit is a well respected Broadway star having played leading roles in the musicals Next to Normal and Catch Me If You Can. He has also appeared in the hit TV show Glee.
He plays Enjolras, the leader of a student revolt and a friend of Marius.
Aaron Tveit singing I'm Alive from the Broadway show Next to Normal
Daniel Huttlestone - Gavroche
Daniel Huttlestone recently played Gavroche in the West End production of Les Miserables and has been asked to reprise the role in the movie version. He also featured in the West End production of Oliver! which starred Rowan Atkinson.
Gavroche is a street urchin who aids the revolutionaries.
Several supporting actors in the Les Miserables movie cast have appeared in the stage version in various cities around the world. Notable among these are: Colm Wilkinson who played Val Jean in the original West End and Broadway casts (and is playing Bishop Digne in the movie), Frances Ruffelle who was the London production's original Eponine (and is playing a prostitute in the movie), Caroline Sheen who has played both Fantine and Eponine in the London production (and is playing a factory worker in the movie), as well as John Barr, Vanessa Leigh-Hicks, Gemma Wardle, Linzi Hately, Katy Secombe, Gina Beck, Hannah Waddingham, Kerry Ellis and Matt Harrop to name a few.