re: LES MISERABLES - the movie musical - 2012

Pgenre
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/05
So Cam Mack has officially begun pre-production on the film version of LES MIZ... for REAL and in earnest this time not some coke-dream publicity stunt like 20 years ago ("Cosette on the big screen in 1990!").

Russell Crowe as JvJ and Hugh Jackman as Javert? I dunno if I like that... I'll take the latter, but the former? Eh...

If they don't get a Ridley Scott or someone with the b*lls to tell the story (the WHOLE story, at least as far as the musical goes) then it will all be for naught... the director will determine everything for this one...

... and here's a vote for Susan Boyle as Mme. Thenardier!

P


LES MIZ MOVIE
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
I suppose its bound to happen sooner or later. I doubt they will find a way to make it uniquely special as a film -just play one of the countless other movies on mute with the cast recording in the background and I imagine you will get a pretty good idea of what it will look like.

MISS SAIGON is a lot more exciting a cinematic idea.
jrb_actor
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
I have been aching for both Les Miz and Miss Saigon to be made into films. I just hope they are done extremely well and as faithful as possible.
Pgenre
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/05
I agree and I've always wanted to see Oliver Stone's script for MISS SAIGON... hopefully he'll get his shot to direct it someday soon as I think he'd be a good match for the material.

I think a LES MIZ movie could be something special with the right director, but MISS SAIGON has more possibilities for inventive filmmaking...

I think with either one you're pretty much forced to keep it sung-through... I REALLY can't see either of these working very well with lots of dialogue scenes replacing the recitative... but PLEASE get a better sync person than on POTO!

P
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Missed opportunity. This is coming WAY too late.

This film adaptation will have as much box office success at the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA did -- and THIS show is STILL on Broadway and STILL ranking at 95% in ticket sales weekly.
So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
millie_dillmount
Broadway Legend
joined:4/22/04
"Missed opportunity. This is coming WAY too late."

Not unless they cast Miley Cyrus as Eponine, one of the Jonas Brothers as Marius and Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato as Cosette.
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
I agree Brody. And a three hour all sung (lipsynched) movie musical is going to be torture. That was the biggest problem with EVITA on film - and it was a lot shorter.

I think SAIGON would be more open to dialogue and creative use of the music.

And Millie - I don't care if you cast the entire Nickolodeon/Disney roster - young people will hate it.

70 Million at the Box office tops
Updated On: 10/16/09 at 01:48 PM
EponineThenardier
Broadway Legend
joined:4/3/04
Not sure if I ever want to see this movie musicalized.

However in my head, I always thought Russell Crowe would make a great Valjean, ironic that they think so to. And how about Emily Blunt as Fantine or Eponine, instead of some awful teenybopper.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
People keep suggesting Emily Blunt for major singing roles on BWW. Do we even know if she sings?
EVIE
Broadway Legend
joined:7/12/04
God on high, hear my prayer, PLEASE, PLEASE don't let them ruin this!
HollyGolightly2
Broadway Star
joined:7/27/09
I just hope they cast people who actually have prior singing experience, unlike those cast in certain OTHER movies based on Cameron Mackintosh musicals (-coughPhantomoftheOpera-).


<--- I want Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras (my favorite character). If they had him, they could cast whoever the heck else they wanted to and I'd be happy anyway. He's one of the best (and hottest..) Enjolrii in history.

Though David Thaxton is a close second for my favorite Enjy.



I'm praying they don't ruin this... Les Mis is very special to me. It was the first musical I ever saw, when I was around 8, and it's what got me into theatre.
Updated On: 10/16/09 at 02:04 PM
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Sung through musicals simply don't work as movies.

There is no one who can make an audience accept people bursting into song unless they have a creative justification for it (ala Rob Marshall) or are doing a jukebox show where the songs are the main reason for the movie in the first place.

And that's assuming they cut out ALL the recitative.



....but the world goes 'round
madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
I think Robert Downey, Jr could be a good Valjean.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
I think an all sung movie musical would work if the vocals were recorded live. The problem is that the audience begins to disengage when there is a disconnect between the singers and their vocal tracks
Colle
Broadway Star
joined:2/13/06
I wouldn't be totally confinate that this is a go until we get the name of the director and/or a cast list. Except for maybe a few casting choices, I thought Phantom of the Opera was pretty good. I am willing to give this a chance since "Les Miserables" is my favorite musical. Hopefully, they will take care to do it well. Also, I see Jackman as more of a Valjean. I don't care much as the casting as long a they are great the their roles. Maybe Michael is right that the vocals should be recorded live, as much as possible.
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
I always thought this would be better off as a made for TV movie / mini series
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Schmerg_The_Impaler
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/08
WHOA! I hope it's good... I'm so excited! But I really, really, really wanted Ewan McGregor for Valjean. For years.
In my pants, she has burst like the music of angels, the light of the sun! --Marius Pantsmercy
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
The Thenardier's are two great roles with the potential to cast ANY type of actor! From A-listers to niche celebrities to unknowns!

I for one would LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Geoffrey Rush as Thenardier and would it be thrilling to age, uglify, and fatten Anne Hathaway for Mme. Thenardier??? I just know she could kill that role!

HELL NO! to Russell Crowe!
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
If it really happens I hope they cast singers at least. This trend of casting non-singing actors is frustrating.

It ruined Sweeney (IMO), and I'm fearful about Nine.
....but the world goes 'round
HollyGolightly2
Broadway Star
joined:7/27/09
Really, Schmerg? I think Ewan's much more suited to Marius...


And YES to Geoffrey Rush as Thenardier!!


If it really happens I hope they cast singers at least. This trend of casting non-singing actors is frustrating.

I hate it, too. It's kind of annoying that people automatically think of certain actors/esses because they can sort of sing a little. There's a HUGE multitude of fantastic actor/singers out there, you just have to look outside of Hollywood! If they insist on casting Hollywood actors, they should only consider the ones who are actually good at singing, like Jackman.

Updated On: 10/16/09 at 02:53 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Hugh Jackman as Javert? They're kidding right? Javert should have a sense of menance about him. What's Jackman going to do? Blind JvJ with his sparkly white teeth?

They should at least try and cast somewhat to type. How about Raul Esparza as Javert? Not totally the type, but better than Hugh Jackman.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 10/16/09 at 02:55 PM
Schmerg_The_Impaler
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/08
I think Ewan McGregor has the kind of face that would work really well for age makeup. But what I like about his voice is the way that he has a strong low register as well as a very SWOOPY high register that could handle Valjean's songs so well... and he can express so much strength and compassion. I think he'd be a great Valjean... plus he looks great with a beard.

I've never really been a huge fan of his, but ever since I first saw Moulin Rouge, I've wanted him to play Valjean.

I think Hugh Jackman would be a great Enjolras if he was younger, but not Valjean. I actually REALLLY want Josh Groban as Marius, although I know he's old for the part.
In my pants, she has burst like the music of angels, the light of the sun! --Marius Pantsmercy
HollyGolightly2
Broadway Star
joined:7/27/09
I love Hugh Jackman, but yeah, he's not right for Javert or Valjean. I agree with Schmerg, he'd be a fabulous Enjolras were he 20 years younger.


And sudden casting idea!
As well as Geoffrey Rush, I'd love to see Nathan Lane as Thenardier.


And if they want to cast people who are popular with teeny-boppers, Ben Barnes, the guy who played Prince Caspian, has a very nice voice. I could see him as Marius, though he might be a few years too old.



Updated On: 10/16/09 at 03:01 PM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I really like the idea(s) of Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman in the leads. And Ridley Scott directing. He's good at other-worldly stuff. Borderline surreal. Sometimes not even borderline. And I'd like to see him tackle this.

But I would "demand" one more thing in order to make it work: live singing. No lip-syncing at all. I agree with everyone who says a through-sung movie with all prerecords doesn't cut it.

The only scenes that worked for me really well in Evita were the "live" ones, such as Madonna on her deathbed with Jonathan Pryce. It was as if the whole movie was running submerged under water and then suddenly came up for air.

So, live singing please. Or get ready for a stinker.

As far as the timing, I don't think it matters at all. Nor do I think the opportunity was missed. Chicago, anyone? Dreamgirls anyone? Both were successful at the box office, and both were well over 20 years old.

It means nothing. Especial with a period piece show (just like Chicago and Dreamgirls) that were both about other eras when they first opened.

BUT ... they seriously will have to tone down the cheesy synthesizer stuff and re-orchestrate just about everything. Easily done.

And they should do some serious editing. I'd say a half hour could go, easily. Particularly with three- and four-verse songs. Cut a verse or two!

My biggest problem with Les Mis has always been the lyrics. They are WAY too literal. Translations from French to English, done by a former theatre critic. Some of them are pretty terrible. But they don't amount to much more than describing, in a very mundane way, exactly what is going on on-stage.

"I'm sitting here in my chair, missing you, and looking into the darkness." No, that's not one of the lyrics, but it might as well be.

Any of those stage-direction-like lyrics should be chucked. We can SEE that you're sitting in a chair, missing someone, and looking into the darkness.

So, I would hope that a well-crafted screenplay could do away with much of that, raise the show up to a cinematic approach, and help fine-tune the rough parts a bit.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Schmerg_The_Impaler
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/08
Whoa... Ben Barnes... he really DOES have a pleasant voice! I just looked him up now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_GSDqJtfw It's a small voice, but it could work for film. He'd be a wonderful Marius if he could handle 'Empty Chairs.' He certainly looks the part. I can't wait to see him in Dorian Gray.

I think a film of Les Mis would cut most of the recitative compeltely, or replace it with spoken dialogue. It'd probably also be heavy on montages and flashbacks to make up for all of the "I AM STANDING AND SINGING ABOUT FEELINGS." I think the settings would be much more dynamic, too... much more walking down streets and entering different buildings and parks and things.

Like, "Stars," I can really see with Javert walking along the Paris streets by night, on the lookout for criminals but mostly with his mind on Valjean. And "One Day More" would be thrilling with people ACTUALLY marching down the street and spilling out of houses and shops to join them.

In my pants, she has burst like the music of angels, the light of the sun! --Marius Pantsmercy
Updated On: 10/16/09 at 03:44 PM
EponineThenardier
Broadway Legend
joined:4/3/04
I believe she won a Golden Globe for this role.
Emily Blunt Singing
Updated On: 10/16/09 at 03:54 PM

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