Anne Hathaway will get to do the “Les Miz” sing and die thing.
Rumored, made too much sense not to be true, now it’s confirmed–Deadline says Anne Hathaway has joined the cast of “Les Miserables,” Tom Hooper’s adaptation of the Broadway musical. Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are already set to star.
It makes sense, as I said, because Hathaway is one of the few Hollywood names who has a genuine Broadway quality voice. Now that’s not required to star in a movie musical–dubbing and studio fixing of voices has been happening since sound first came into use–but it’s just kind of a nice gesture to have someone who’s actually musical in a musical.
Hathaway will play Fantine, the mother of Cosette, who becomes the adopted daughter of the hero, Jean Valjean (Jackman). Fantine sings one of the biggest songs in the show, “I Dreamed a Dream,” then dies. That sums up a lot of “Les Miz,” actually–someone sings a big song, then dies. For example, Javert, the obsessed police inspector to be played by Crowe, sings “Stars,” then kills himself. Valjean at least gets to sing a bunch of numbers before he gasps his way through his last one and dies.
The other two big female parts, Cosette and Eponine, are yet to be cast. I am so betting that some studio exec will push to have a Disney/Nickelodeon kid who’s aging out of the channel play Eponine. I would not be surprised if Selena Gomez shows up in this–if the studio was Disney, there wouldn’t be a question, but it’s Universal. You know what? I could imagine someone putting Elle Fanning into the Eponine role. No, I don’t know if she can sing, but as previously noted, that doesn’t really matter. Thinking along those lines, maybe someone would want to put, say, Carey Mulligan, up for Cosette. If you’re saying to yourself, “Why can’t they just take a chance on a Broadway actress who can really sing?” well, that’s because studios like to fill big, expensive movies with well-known people. Maybe, maybe a studio might feel that with Jackman, Crowe, and Hathaway locked up, they can risk putting a lesser known person into one of the other major roles, but even then a complete unknown is unlikely. Think, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of her” or “I saw her in that movie, what was it?” not “We found her singing in a community theater production in Minnesota!!”
Back to Ms. Hathaway–she was last seen in “One Day,” which you probably forgot by now. As you may have heard, she’s been filming a little movie called “The Dark Knight Rises.”