Russell Crowe to join Hugh Jackman in 'Les Miserables'; Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush also tapped for roles
It's being reported that Universal has secured Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe for the role of the relentless inspector, which would have him starring opposite fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman as reformed thief Jean Valjean.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter has it that both Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush are also in negotiations for the film, though their intended roles haven't been specified (I'll assume Bonham Carter would be taking on Madame Thenardier). In addition, Broadway World earlier reported that Anne Hathaway was set to take on the role of Fantine, though that hasn't yet been confirmed.
The studio also announced they've slated the film for release on December 7, 2012, at the height of next year's Oscar season. Clearly they're looking to garner some Academy Award nominations for the Tom Hooper-directed film and its heavyweight cast for 2013.
Based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, the Cameron Mackintosh-produced "Les Miserables" is now the longest-running stage musical in the world, and the third longest-running play in Broadway history.
With a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter William Nicholson ("Gladiator"), the adaptation is being produced by Working Title partners Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, along with Mackintosh and Debra Hayward. The team has reportedly been working for years to get the project off the ground.
"Les Miserables" will be the next film on Jackman's plate, with the "Wolverine" sequel recently pushed to an estimated summer 2012 start to make room.