Russell Crowe will be joining fellow Aussie actor and Tony-award winner Hugh Jackman in the upcoming film adaptation of the play Les Miserables.
Jackman had been confirmed for the role of lead Jean Valjean in the musical drama, and Crowe has signed on to play his foil, Inspector Javert. The play and film are based on the French classic novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and chronicle the life of a man who spent 19 years in prison for the crime of stealing bread to feed his starving family. The man, Valjean, struggles with being perceived as a marked criminal as he reforms his situation, and is pursued by the ever-vigilant Javert, who is never convinced Valjean has turned his life around.
Original producer of Les Miserables, Cameron Mackintosh, was thrilled the pair have both signed on to play the two leads in the film. Mackintosh enthuses:
“Even though I have dreamt about making the film of Les Misérables 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.”
Mackintosh added that making the film a reality was “indeed a dream come true” and that he “can’t wait to hear the people sing at [his] local cineplex.” In addition to Crowe and Jackman, the film will also star Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, and is due out in December of 2012.