Now that Hugh Jackman has signed on to play hero Jean Valjean in the forthcoming film adaptation of Les Miserables, talk has turned to casting the other roles in the megahit musical. Today’s rumor (via the entertainment web site itsonthegrid.com) is a juicy one: Jackman's fellow Aussie, Oscar-winning movie icon Russell Crowe, is supposedly in negotiations to play Valjean’s lifelong nemesis, Inspector Javert. Previous reports had speculated that Crowe’s A Beautiful Mind co-star Paul Bettany would be tapped by Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper to play Javert.
When he's not starring in films such as Gladiator, Robin Hood, 3:10 to Yuma and American Gangster, Crowe has fronted the rock band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts. (To hear him sing the ballad "The Weight of a Man," click on the video clip below.)
In addition to Crowe, actors who are supposedly “in negotiations” for the film include Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter as Thenardier and Madame Thenardier. (Both actors received Oscar nominations for their work in Hooper’s hit film The King’s Speech, and Rush played Javert in a 1998 non-musical version of Victor Hugo’s novel). For tragic heroine Fantine, Amy Adams and Rebecca Hall (both believable choices) are rumored to be in the running. Eponine and Cosette may or may not be played by Hayden Panettiere, Miranda Cosgrove, Lucy Hale and Harry Potter starlet Emma Watson.
According to Deadline.com, the Les Miz film has moved ahead of Wolverine 2 on Jackman’s schedule, with the latest entry in the X-Men franchise bumped to Spring 2012.
Les Miserables features a score by Claude-Michel Schonberg, book by Schonberg and Alain Boubil and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. The film will have a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson and is being produced by Working Title films, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Cameron Mackintosh.