Previously confirmed for the picture, to be directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper, are Academy Award winner Russell Crowe as Javert and Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean. Jackman has been in London for meetings with the film's music director in recent days.
On the Oct. 17 episode of "Front Row" on BBC Radio 4, Mackintosh said, "I've got a marvelous cast so far, with Hugh Jackman playing Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe playing Javert and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. We're busy casting the rest of the parts and hope to start filming in March."
The Les Miz film, from Universal and Working Title, will be released Dec. 7, 2012, according to Universal. William Nicholson ("Gladiator," "Nell," "Shadowlands") is writing the screenplay.
Hathaway played Viola in The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night in 2009. Her film credits include the upcoming Batman picture "The Dark Knight Rises" (as Catwoman), plus "The Princess Diaries" and its sequel, "The Devil Wears Prada," "One Day," "Rachel Getting Married" (for which she was nominated for an Oscar), "Bride Wars," "Love and Other Drugs," "Alice in Wonderland" and more.
No other casting for the movie "Les Miserables" has been announced, although Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush have been mentioned as possible candidates for the roles of the Thenardiers. Mackintosh, the stage musical's producer, is also the film's producing partner. He said in a Sept. 8 statement: "Even though I have dreamt about making the film of Les Miserables for over 25 years, I could never have imagined that we would end up with the dream director Tom Hooper, and the dream cast of Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe as the two great protagonists Jean Valjean and Javert. Not only were they born to play these roles vocally, but they thrillingly inhabit this great score. Producing this film with Eric Fellner, Working Title and Universal Pictures is indeed a dream come true and I can't wait to hear the people sing at my local Cineplex."
In the London, Broadway and international hit musical, Javert is the policeman who doggedly pursues Valjean, a petty thief who changes his fortunes, over several decades in socially turbulent times in early 1800s France.
Director Hooper won the Academy Award for his direction of the Oscar-winning Best Picture "The King's Speech."
The film is drawn from the Claude-Michel Schonberg-Alain Boublil musical, which has English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. "I Dreamed a Dream," "A Heart Full of Love," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," "Bring Him Home," "Stars" and "Master of the House" are among some its famous musical numbers.
The decades-spanning drama is drawn from the novel by Victor Hugo. The original London production continues in the West End. An American touring production of the revised 25th anniversary version of the show is now traveling the country. A separate Canadian production will be spawned in Toronto in 2012.
The stage musical is by Boublil (book), Schönberg (book and music) and Herbert Kretzmer (lyrics).
Jackman, who won the Tony Award for playing Peter Allen in Broadway's The Boy From Oz, returns to Broadway Oct. 25 for a limited engagement of his one-man show, Hugh Jackman Back on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre. The run continues to Jan. 1, 2012. Opening night is Nov. 10.
Hooper's film credit before the Oscar-winning "The King's Speech" was "The Damned United," about an English football coach. He was also director of the acclaimed miniseries "John Adams."
Jackman, who was seen on screen in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," is also known for his film roles in the "X-Men" trilogy, "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold," "Van Helsing" and the recent "The Fountain" and "Happy Feet" (in voice). His stage credits also include Trevor Nunn's staging of Oklahoma! at Britian's National Theatre and award-winning work in productions of Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast in his homeland, Australia.
Russell Crowe's films include "Gladiator" (for which he won the Academy Award), "A Beautiful Mind," "L.A. Confidential," "Master and Commander," "Robin Hood," "State of Play," "Body of Lies," "The Insider," "The Sum of Us" and more.