Les Miz Movie Cut Songs

Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 10:10am
Has anyone discussed what songs will be cut from the Les Miz movie?

I think the stage show when performed in its entirety runs 3 hours and 20 minutes. I don't see the movie running over 2 1/2 hours and I think that's pushing it for modern audiences.

What gets cut?
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.
carolinaguy
Understudy
joined:10/13/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 10:37am
Don't know specifically about songs, but the screenwriter has said that much of the recitiative will be replaced with dialogue. That could save running time, but the director didn't seem to mind "The King's Speech" going on about 15 minutes longer than it needed to.
But just remembering you've had an "and" When you're back to "or" Makes the "or" mean more than it did before Now I understand! And it's time to leave the woods.
Fan2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/7/04
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 10:44am
Here's Les Mis Q&A with the screenwriter (he does answer questions):

Posted by Rhys
June 16th 2011
Hi Mr Nicholson, Apparantly you'll be on scripting duties again for a film adaptation of the musical version of Les Miserables. Is this true? And how will you go about adapting it; will you try and keep some of the dialogue or will you do a complete rewrite? I look forward to seeing your efforts (assuming the project goes forward and you are actually on scripting duties!)

William Nicholson responded:
I have been working on the screenplay for Les Miserables, yes. Since the whole idea is to make it close to the musical, with all the songs, it won't of course be a radical rewrite. However, I have been able to develop the story and enhance the characters, in what is already a very powerful piece. Still a long way to go, and many other talents will be at work on the project before it's done.

Posted by Ali
July 14th 2011
I heard you are writing the script for the upcoming musical adaptation of Les Miserables! I am absurdly excited, as I've loved your writing for a long time - including your plays and films - and Les Miserables is one of my all-time favorite stories. Just was curious how you become attached to the project and what you're looking forward to most about adapting it.

William Nicholson responded:
I am doing the screenplay for the film version of the musical, yes. It will still be the musical its fans, and I, love - but even better, we hope. The film company involved is Working Title, who know me well, and asked me to do the job. What am I looking forward to? Clarifying and enhancing the motivations of the main characters, making the plot work more simply and powerfully, and creating a result that equals or surpasses the impact of the stage show without anyone really noticing that anything has been changed.

Posted by Jo
July 17th 2011
Thanks for replying to the inquiries on the Les Miserables film project. I am looking forward to the film version very much. My question - will you retain the sung-through format basically? Or will it be part full songs, part recitatives, and part spoken dialog? If completely sung-through, are you also collaborating with the team of Boublil and Schonberg?

William Nicholson responded:
Les Miserables is the creation of Boublil and Schonberg and naturally they remain in key position throughout. We are planning to introduce some spoken dialogue, so not full sung-through as on stage.

Posted by Sarah
July 26th 2011
For the Les Miserables movie, are the barricades and the revolutionaries going to get screentime? A lot of adaptations of the story tend to cut them out and they're an enormous part of the plot.

William Nicholson responded:
Yes, there'll be a revolution. Just think of all the wonderful songs that happen on the barricades.

Posted by Jess
October 21st 2011
Mr. Nicholson, I was curious about your project of Les Miserables. You say you're adapting the story so it improves character feelings and motivations (Hopefully actually have Valjean and Marius actually talk before Valjean decides he's in love with him in "Bring Him Home") Nevertheless, I was curious whether you were going to adapt the narrated sections of the musical, which would work onstage, but wouldn't translate to film too well. (Ex. The Prologue where Valjean narrates his actions) Thank you for your time. -Jess

William Nicholson responded:
Your understanding of Les Mis is subtle. All I can say is we (I'm part of a team that includes the original writers) are indeed doing our best to fill gaps and heighten characters; but at the same time, we want to maintain the experience of the stage show that so many love. It's tricky and fascinating.

Posted by Theresa Hardman
October 22nd 2011
Is it true that you will be writing the screenplay for the film version of the musical "Les Miserables"?

William Nicholson responded:
I am doing so right now, though not on my own. I'm working with - you could even say, for - the creators of the show, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, and of course for the director, Tom Hooper. We're having fun, and I think the film's going to be amazing.

Screenwriter Q&A
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 10:44am
My guesses are:

Castle on A Cloud

Look Down

Drink With Me

Dog Eats Dog

Little People (I bet the Gavroche character doesn't even make it into the movie)
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: 10/26/11 at 10:44 AM
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 11:00am
I agree that "Dog Eats Dog" is a likely cut.

I think they film "Drink With Me" and then decide to cut it. It either works as a nice relief from tension - or could be laughable. But, I think they have to film it and edit it in before deciding.

"Turning" likely gets cut. Or truncated.

I think the negotiations over Cosette become dialog - rather than song.

I'm very nervous about "A Little Fall of Rain" because people belting out while dying works on stage, but on film..... same with Gavroche's fate and final bit of song - pf course, Gavroche may be subject to the Frankenstein rule - kids do not get killed on screen - (Spielberg took a lot of flack for the child death in Jaws) - so maybe he just gets knocked unconscious and scampers away. Hugo be damned!

Of course, it all depends on the director and vision - People laughed at "Family" in "Dreamgirls" because it was a sudden change in the way the film had been progressing with song - But, no such laughter at characters breaking into song in "Hairspray".

Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 11:02am
In the hands of Rob Marshall, it becomes Fanny or Irma La Douce -all the score is gone.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
jpbran
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 11:15am
Agreed: the Dreamgirls/"Family" laughing was at least partially because the movie had gone on for what, 30-40 minutes, before a song was sung outside of a stage performance. Was pretty jarring... Hairspray had characters singing from the opening scenes on.

And was Les Mis ever really 3 hrs 20 minutes (NOT including the intermission, maybe with it...)? I thought recently it's been about 2 hrs 50 including the 10-15 min. intermission, so maybe just over 2.5 hours.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 11:22am
"I'm very nervous about "A Little Fall of Rain"

I almost added that to my list. Truthfully I think it's gone because they can cover the same ground with a quick reprise of "On My Own". Plus Eponine will have to be a major name to get more songs than Anne Hathaway.

I think it will go like this:

Eponine casts a knowing glance at Marius. The look on her face tells him that moving her would be useless.

Eponine: You must fight for what you believe. Go now and make the world a better place.

(Close up on Eponine)

Eponine (singing): Without me, his world will go on turning, the world is full of happiness that I will never know. I love him...(the music plays the rest of the song as Eponine expires)
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.
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 12:16pm
Didn't know Nicholson was scripting. Interesting choice; makes me think things might turn out well.
Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 12:46pm
I doubt "Dog Eats Dog" will get cut. It forms part of the trio of the "God" songs… three different points of view towards God. Valjean's "Bring Him Home" with his merciful God, Javert's "Stars" and his just/righteous God, and "Dog Eats Dog" with Thenardier's godless existence.
ILOHTFAHA (Aida Man)
Leading Actor
joined:7/20/09
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 01:03pm
I think Dog Eats Dog won't get cut just shortened a tad.

Castle on a Cloud WILL NOT GET CUT!!!! Whoever suggested that is NUTS!!!!!
p.s.
Broadway Star
joined:10/30/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 01:24pm
kids do not get killed on screen

The students are kids, too.

Eponine should be younger than most of them.


p.s. Worse than cutting A Little Fall of Rain would be actually including rain in the scene.
Katurian2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/18/05
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 01:27pm
If there is a theatre god in heaven, Little People will be cut. Or better yet, deleted completely from history.

I wouldn't think CoC would be totally gone, but maybe more realistically incorporated- I could see it being hummed or something. But it is a bit of a standstill plot-wise.
"Are you sorry for civilization? I am sorry for it too." ~Coast of Utopia: Shipwreck
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 01:47pm

She could sing it to herself to keep calm while fetching the water from the well. She starts to hear rustling in the bushes and see the shadow of something large approaching her, not knowing it's her savior coming. That could be a tense, scary, and effective scene, with that spooky lullaby melody underneath.

There are ways to keep all this stuff and have it make perfect sense, with proper scripting. That's the art of adaptation. But no Hollywood producers are going to allow that much recitative -- or singing time, period -- onscreen in such an expensive property, even one with major stars and a globally recognizable brand.

That said, I see no way that "Castle on a Cloud" gets cut and will be very surprise if "Dog Eats Dog" makes it, and almost certainly not in its full form.

And why would including the rain in "A Little Fall of Rain" be bad? It's a movie, not the show. Movies much more reasily reflect real life. You have to use that strength. It would be pretty ludicrous for them to talk about rain falling -- nay, since an entire song about it -- and have it not be raining.
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iluvny04
Stand-by
joined:7/17/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 02:09pm
How are they going to do the epilogue/finale, will it be like the stage show with the 3 leads joining the ensemble or after fantine and eponine take vajean to heaven, will there be a montage of some sort?
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 02:18pm

Yes, that's right.
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
p.s.
Broadway Star
joined:10/30/06
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 02:28pm
It would be pretty ludicrous for them to talk about rain falling -- nay, since an entire song about it -- and have it not be raining.


SPOILER:

It was not raining!
The "something wet upon Eponine's hair" was blood.
And it was "everywhere!"

All of the rain talk flows from that - a dying, wet girl (in confusion) speaking of rain, with Marius comforting her.


p.s. While the rain is imagined, Valjean's broken window pane and stolen loaf of bread probably were real. I would much rather see some glimpse of those during his early recitative.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 02:37pm
Castle on a Cloud will get cut. It's not a song that does much for the show. So Little Cosette was mistreated by the Thenardiers, they'll show that in 5 minutes while building up Helene Bonham-Carter's role.
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.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 02:51pm

That's crazy, p.s. Not once have I ever made that metphorical leap. In that case, you make a totally fair assessment, which I mis-read to be more about preserving the traditional of stage action in favor of cinematic realism. No rain it is, then.

And I still think that "CoaC" will stay, not because I think it's an important or particularly good song, but because it's one of the show's most well-known and popular songs. Also, it's the introduction to Cosette's character. It's sung by the little girl on the poster, for criminy's sake.

Those are my reasons.
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Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:03pm
^^^ Ever heard of a little song called "Together, Wherever We Go" from the movie version of Gypsy?
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.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:22pm

No. That was cut from the movie.

???
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Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:29pm
"No. That was cut from the movie."

It was a popular song sung by the girl on the poster.
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.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:36pm
I doubt Castle on a Cloud will be cut entirely. It will probably be truncated and/or sung while other things are happening on screen.
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:48pm

No way. It'll be cut.
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 03:54pm
I was hoping it would be sung by a little animatronic mouse in a very high pitched voice who's living in poverty in the walls but comes out to get a piece of cheese and sings a song of hope for a better life.
jasonf
Broadway Legend
joined:12/26/03
Les Miz Movie Cut Songs
Posted: 10/26/11 at 04:03pm
If you ask a casual fan what songs they know from Les Mis, Castle on a Cloud is in the top four (I Dreamed a Dream because of Susan Boyle, sadly, Bring Him Home, and Master of the House being the others). There's no way they're losing that song.
Hi, Shirley Temple Pudding.

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