You don’t have to wait one day more to get the inside scoop about Tom Hooper’s highly anticipated (and sure to be amazing) Les Miserables movie. This week, Universal Pictures posted the film’s screenplay on its awards site, and we read all 127 pages to find out the differences between the star-filled movie and the beloved stage musical. We are delighted and relieved to report that the screenplay proves that the upcoming movie has everything a hardcore Les Miz fan could want and more. The faithful adaptation of the Tony-winning musical has every song from the show (yes, even “Turning”!) and moments that made us cry just reading them on the page. Broadway.com read through the entire script and came up with five of the most exciting and surprising changes from stage to screen. Read below to see how far Fantine falls, why Eponine becomes a true hero and more.
FANTINE'S FALL IS DARKER THAN EVER
In the stage version, Fantine (Anne Hathaway) loses her job at Valjean's (Hugh Jackman) factory and desperately sells a locket and her hair before resorting to prostitution. Readers of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel know that during her unraveling, Fantine also sells her teeth, a plot point left out of the musical. However in the film, Anne Hathaway’s Fantine sells her back teeth during the number “Lovely Ladies.” Hear this, Oscar voters! Hathaway sells her locket, her hair, her teeth and finally her diginity—all for the love of her child.
A DIFFERENT ORDER GIVES MUSICAL NUMBERS PUNCH
Reading the Les Miserables screenplay, we were most relieved to see that, unlike the Dreamgirls or Phantom of the Opera movies, Les Miz’s Tony-winning score is represented in its entirety. What we found surprising about the musical numbers was the fresh new context some of the songs received. Fans will note that “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “One Day More” and “Do You Hear the People Sing” all appear in different places than they do in the stage musical. While we don’t want to spoil too much, each song is even more powerful in its new context. (Really!)
EPONINE'S DEMISE IS MORE HEROIC
Fear not, our girl Eponine (Samantha Barks) still feels “a little fall of rain” in the arms of her true love Marius (Eddie Redmayne). Yet, her cause of death is different, sadder and even more heroic than it is on stage. Without ruining this shocking death sequence, all we can say is Eponine’s love knows no bounds.
JAVERT AND THE BISHOP GET MEATIER ROLES
Javert’s (Russell Crowe) lifelong pursuit of Jean Valjean has never been more real than it is in Hooper’s film. According to the script, there are even more Javert and Valjean confrontations, fights and chases. Another actor enjoying a bigger role is London and Broadway’s original Jean Valjean, Colm Wilkinson. Wilkinson appears as the Bishop of Digne in the big screen epic, and enjoys extra scenes than the character does in the musical. Now that’s music to our ears.
THE FINAL SCENE IS MORE UPBEAT
When the three-hour stage musical Les Miserables ended, audiences were left weeping to a dark and eerie ghost-filled epilogue, but happier times are ahead for movie audiences. The final “Do You Hear the People Sing" reprise takes place at the Place de la Bastille in 1848 and it's a far cry from the stage version's somber finale. The ghosts are still present, but audiences will be cheering!
To see how all this and more plays out on the big screen, check out Les Miserables in movie theaters on Christmas Day. Until then, get a preview from the extended trailer below.