Hugh Jackman in talks for 'Les Miserables,' but who should he play?


Image Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Hugh Jackman is in talks to star in Tom Hooper’s cinematic adaptation of the musical Les Misérables, the actor’s rep says, confirming a Variety report. Jackman’s schedule opened up after director Darren Aronofsky stepped away from The Wolverine, and making Les Mis would finally bridge his two worlds. Though he’s won a Tony (for The Boy From Oz) and hosted the award ceremony multiple times, his movies, like the X-Men franchise and Van Helsing, have tended to be grittier action fare. If you don’t count the animated Happy Feet, Les Miserables would be his first movie musical.

What still isn’t certain, however, is the role Jackman is in talks to play. His spokesperson would only say, “I think Valjean,” leaving open the possibility that Javert is also in the mix (though Paul Bettany is rumored to be a candidate for the musical’s stubborn antagonist). Though Jackman’s natural singing voice might be better suited for the heroic Valjean, you only have to rewatch Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, in which Jackman plays an obsessed magician haunted by a rival, to see that Jackman has the brooding sneer that would be perfect for the cold-hearted inspector.

Which character would you rather see Jackman tackle? Vote below.

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Comments (249 total) Add your comment
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  • ww

    Hugh Jackman would make a terrific Jean Valjean.

    • Liz Lemon

      I agree. I can totally see that.
      And maybe Vincent Cassel as Javert.

    • Sarah O

      Since Valjean is a tenor role and Javert is a bass role, I think Jackman would be a better Valjean. I didn’t know Paul Bettany could sing, but he’s an exciting choice for that part.

      • World-Traveler

        Javert is a baritone role, not bass. Cannot see Paul Bettany in this at all.

  • Eric

    Somebody gay again so he can step out of the closet a little more…

    • Debbie

      Hugh Jackman is not gay! He is a wonderful performer, can sing and dance and act. You’re totally wrong.

      • John Berggren

        But Debbie! It’s fun to come on and complain about gay people… because clearly one of them killed Eric’s puppy.

  • Jelana

    He’d be great in either, but I see him more as Javert. Oh, and that’s a bad shirt.

  • Jackie

    I’m not really a fan of the musical, but if it’s got Hugh Jackman singing and dancing, I’m totally there. I could actually see him more as Javert, though.

    • Laura

      Jackie, Please learn about “Les Mis”; there is no dancing! Valjean needs to have a huge vocal range and ‘inner fire’. The only person I can see for that role is Alfie Boe. If you have to have ‘movie stars’, then he could play Javert, but definitely not Valjean.

      • Wes

        Someone’s been to London.

      • PamGardner

        Alfie Boe is most definitely the only choice for JVJ if they are looking for sheer talent. Hugh Jackman’s voice is a bit think for the roll. He would be a good Javert.

      • Karen Isaac

        Alfie Boe IS Jean Val Jean! He owns the song ‘Bring Himn Home’.

    • PamGardner

      Hugh Jackman would add star power to the project. His voice does not have the resonance to carry the Jean Valjean part. Alfie Boe is the only intelligent casting decision for JVJ. Hugh Jackman could carry off the part of Javert nicely. Javert is suppose to a larger character with an imposing presence, which Jackman could provide.

      • Karen Golden

        I totally agree with you Pam. I Have followed Hugh with much enjoyment. He would be an imposing Javert with a powerful voice. As for JVJ there is only one choice, one voice, Alfie Boe.

      • fran height

        Hugh Jackman is talented. BUT Alfie Boe IS Valjean!.
        They messed up with Man of LaMancha, Richard Kiley should have been cast. I think the movies’ poor box office is proof.

  • chrispy

    ANY ROLE! Love Hugh. If he plays Valjean he’d at least be on the screen more. *clap clap*

    @Jelana — I believe that is a picture from The Boy from Oz, hence the flamboyant print. ;)

  • Emme

    The shirt and pic are from the Boy From Oz. He will be great in Les Miserables, either part. And I notice that men keep hoping Jackman is gay — women don’t worry about it.

  • Meghan

    I see him as a great Javert, but he would make a good Valjean.

  • carol

    Paul Bettany is supposedly up for Javert. Hope his scheduling can work out, now that they have a director for Wolverine and that’s filming in the fall. And re “that shirt” – he’s onstage as Peter Allen in “The Boy from Oz” and Peter wore shirts like that all the time.

    Hugh would be a fantastic Jean Valjean, make it happen!

  • Javabooknut

    Javert is a far more meaty role at least in characterization as written in the musical but Valjean has some beatiful songs. Javert has one my favorite in the whole play though.

  • Ryan

    Jackman would be a terrfic Valjean. I am actually more interested in who would fill the female roles in the movie. They are tough parts to sing and it will be interesting to see what actresses have the chops (and actors for that matter)

    • Meredith

      Maybe Lea Michele for Eponine? She’s played the role on stage before, so she has the pipes for it. Depends on whether there would be scheduling conflicts with Glee.

      • Tom

        No, no, no…if Lea Michele is anywhere in this film I will sadly pass. I just can’t stand her diva attitude and her standoffish airs. Yes, she is talented, but let someone who is likeable and engaging be Eponine.

      • Cari

        I honestly don’t think Lea Michele’s a diva in real life. I think she just–pardon the pun–plays one on TV.

      • Heather

        I think you’re confusing Lea Michele with Lea Salonga — who did Eponine in the 10th anniversary production and Fantine in the 25th anniversary production

      • Meredith

        Um…no, I’m not. Lea Michele played Eponine at the Hollywood Bowl’s Les Miserables in Concert in 2008. And I know very well who Lea Salonga is, thank you very much.

      • Sassyfras

        Bite your tongue.

  • Anne

    Definitely he should be Jean Valjean. He is perfect for the part, because he is hugely charismatic and likable, he can be imposing and bada$$, but he also can have great warmth and vulnerability – all qualities that are essential to Valjean. Plus, Hugh is a terrific singer, which is also a necessity. Valjean all the way.

  • Cara

    Am I the only person who wants to see him as Thenardier? :-)

    • Mindi

      LOL I was thinking Enjolras. I’m not really feeling him as either Javert or Valjean.

  • Chelsea

    I definitely think he is more suited for Javert. His voice and range is better for Javert, too. Physically, it’s a good match as well, tall and brooding. I don’t think he has quite the range for Valjean, but I’ve never heard him sing anything that would show that one way or the other. Although, maybe they should have him play Valjean and Michael C. Hall play Javert. I could definitely see that working.

    • Les Miz fan

      YES! Hugh all the way!

  • Heather

    Vocally, he’s tenor, so Valjean (Javert is bari-bass). I’d love to have James Earl Jones for Javert. For the ladies, I’d lean towards Sutton Foster for ANYTHING in the show, but probably more age appropriate for Fantine.

    • Ann

      Brian Stokes Mitchell as Javert! Great voice…

      • Lauren

        Yes, yes!! BSM would make a wonderful Javert!

    • Heather

      I changed my mind on Javert — Michael Cerveris (played Sweeney Todd in 2005 revival). A bald Javert would be VERY interesting!

  • veronica

    I just hope they’re smart and have actual young men playing Marius and the students. Those guys are supposed to be in their early early twenties and too often on stage they’re played by men in their mid to late thirties. It’s just so less emotional that way. As for Jackaman, I think he would make a decent Valjean. I’m really interested in seeing who they cast as Thenardier.

    • Sarah

      Perhaps Matt Lucas, as he has experience with acting in front of cameras, and he was great as Thenardier at the 25th Anniversary Concert, and is also going to go it on the West End for a while too.

      • veronica

        I did like him in the 25th concert edition. Of course, no one will ever be better than Alun Armstrong, but he may be getting on in years a bit for the role.

      • Les Miz fan

        Absolutely not Matt Lucas! He’s too hammy for the movie. This isn’t supposed to be a TV sitcom, or a stage version. It’s a MOVIE!!!!!!


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