Les Misérables is a 2012 British-American musical film based on the musical of the same name, which is in turn based on an 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.
Development of the film began in the late 1980s and remained stuck in "development hell" until very recently. After the musical's 25th anniversary concert in 2010, producer Cameron Mackintosh finally announced that the film resumed development. Director Tom Hooper and screenwriter William Nicholson were approached to work on the project in March 2011 and the main characters were cast throughout that same year. Principal photography of the film commenced in March 2012, and took place in various locations in Winchester, London and Portsmouth in England, as well as Paris in France.
Les Misérables was release on December 25, 2012.
Plot Summary[edit | edit source]
The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector. Javert's pursuit of Valjean consumes both men's lives, and after two decades on the run, Valjean finds himself in the midst of the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris.
Cast[edit | edit source]
Primary Characters[edit | edit source]
- Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, a Frenchman released from Toulon prison after 19 years of imprisonment for stealing bread and failed attempts for escaping from the prison.
- Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, a police inspector who releases Valjean on parole, then later dedicates his life to imprisoning him again.
- Anne Hathaway as Fantine, a struggling factory worker and mother of her illegitimate child, Cosette. She is eventually forced to turn to prostitution.
- Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine who has grown into a beautiful teenager under Valjean's care and falls in love with Marius. Isabelle Allen plays the younger version of Cosette.
- Eddie Redmayne as Marius Pontmercy, a student revolutionary who is friends with the Thenardiers' daughter, Éponine, but falls in love with Cosette. To prepare for the role, Redmayne took singing lessons.
- Samantha Barks as Éponine, the destitute daughter of the Thénardiers who is friends with and secretly pines for Marius. Barks previously played the role at the 25th Anniversary concert and in the West End production from 2010–2011. Taylor Swift had been previously rumored to have been offered the role. Scarlett Johansson, Evan Rachel Wood and Lea Michele were reportedly considered for the role.
- Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier, a common thief who is also an innkeeper. He is also the father of Éponine.
- Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier, the unscrupulous innkeeper's wife who, along with her husband, houses and abuses Cosette until Valjean "buys" her from them after Fantine's death. She is also the mother of Éponine. Hooper collaborated with Bonham Carter in The King's Speech, in which she portrayed Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Bonham Carter and Cohen previously co-starred in the film adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Supporting Characters[edit | edit source]
- Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, the leader of a student revolt and a friend of Marius.
- Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche, a streetwise urchin who helps the revolutionaries.
- Colm Wilkinson as the Bishop of Digne, a man who gives Valjean shelter in his church and becomes Valjean's inspiration to become a good man. Wilkinson was the original Jean Valjean in the West End and Broadway musical productions.
- Frances Ruffelle as a prostitute. Ruffelle portrayed the original Éponine in the West End and Broadway musical productions.
- George Blagden as Grantaire, a student revolutionary who idolises Enjolras. He is constantly drunk, often delivering his own somewhat depressing philosophy to the other students.
- Killian Donnelly as Combeferre, the philosopher of the ABC group.
- Fra Fee as Courfeyrac, the friendly and open student who introduces Marius to the ABC society.
- Alistair Brammer as Jean Prouvaire, the youngest student member of the Friends. Brammer previously played the role at the 25th Anniversary concert.
- Hugh Skinner as Joly, a student of medicine.
- Gabriel Vick as Feuilly, the only member of the Friends of the ABC who is not a student.
- Iwan Lewis as Bahorel, a good-humoured member of the Friends of the ABC and the first member of his group to pass away.
- Bertie Carvel as Bamatabois, a young gentleman who tries to buy Fantine's services and is responsible for her arrest.
- Adam Pearce as Brujon, the brutish and cowardly but dissatisfied member of Thénardier's gang.
- Marc Pickering as Montparnasse, a young member of Thénardier's Gang, who appears to be close to Éponine.
- Michael Jibson as Foreman, the foreman of the factory in which Fantine works and is fired from.
- Hadley Fraser as the Army General of the National Guard.
- Actors playing smaller roles: Filippo Delaunay, Gareth Snook, Samuel J Weir, Ashley Artus, Lynne Wilmot, Kelly-Anne Gower, Julia Worsley, Jonny Purchase, John Barr, Nikica Markot, Emmy Misheva, Ryan Laskey, Stevee Davies, Jos Slovick, Mary Cormack, Linzi Hateley, Sara Pelosi, Alice Fearn, Alison Tennant, Josef Altin, Caroline Sheen, Gemma Wardle, Katy Secombe, Gina Beck, Adebaya Bolaji, Alexia Khadime, Hannah Waddingham, Daniel Evans, Katie Hall, Adam Searles, Jamie Muscato, Nancy Sullivan, Tabitha Webb, Jacqui Dankworth, Clare Foster, Adrian Scarborough, Kerry Ellis, Alison Jiear, Mark Donovan, Robyn North, Matt Harrop, Sean Ward, Jackie Marks, Alea Young, Bradley Barnes, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Corner, Lily Laight, Olivia Rose Aaron, Kerry Ingram, Phil Vaughan, Iain Wallace, Mike Johnson, Jason Rowley, John Brymer, Victoria Melanie Ryan, and Andy Coxon.
- List of Cameo appearances: Cameron Mackintosh, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Michael Le Poer Trench and Marie Zamora.
Filming Locations[edit | edit source]
Principal photography of the film began on March 8, 2012 in France and England. Filming locations include:
- Winchester College
- Winchester Cathedral
- Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth HMNB Portsmouth
- Chatham Historic Dockyard
- Pinewood Studios
- Greenwich. In April 2012 a replica of the Elephant of the Bastille was constructed in the English town. In the novel, Gavroche lives in the decaying monument.