A former West End Gavroche, Daniel Huttlestone, will reprise the role in the movie. He has also starred the musical Oliver! before.
George Blagden will play Grantaire. He has acted in Wrath of the Titans and The Philosophers and also has experience of singing in choirs and acting onstage.
West End actor Bertie Carvel, who originated the role of Miss Trunchbull in the musical Matilda, will play Bamatabois.
According to Daily Mail, the following Les Mis stage alumni will appear in the movie: Caroline Sheen, Hadley Fraser, Mike Jibson, Linzi Hateley, Gemma Wardle, Katy Secombe, Gina Beck, Alexia Khadime, Katie Hall.
The movie's shooting begun last week.
The premiere date for USA and Canada is currently set for December 14th 2012, while the worldwide premieres span from December 21th (Sweden) to February 20th, 2013 (Belgium, France).
EDIT Jan 27: According to Daily Mail, Colm Wilkinson and Frances Ruffelle, the original London cast Jean Valjean and Éponine, have got roles in the movie.
Wilkinson will play the Bishop of Digne. According to the article, he comments that "as he takes on the role of the bishop, his journey with Les Misérables has ended ‘and I have come full circle’."
Ruffelle, then, will play the part of "the most fabulous whore" in Lovely Ladies, as the article puts it. Previously Nancy Sullivan, Éponine from the London cast a couple of years back, was reported to be cast to appear in Lovely Ladies. Wonder if we'll see more ex-Éponines in that scene! "The stage show had 28 actors playing a variety of roles, but the film, Cameron [Mackintosh] told me, will have scores of parts for West End performers", the article says.
Just Jared reports that Taylor Swift, a rumored Éponine candidate for the film, has been visiting Cameron Mackintosh's office. The Daily Mail article, however, doesn't put Swift on their list of actors who have agreed to do the film but says that "other key roles are still in negotiation" - it seems casting Swift isn't going all that smoothly.
Kent News has it that the movie is looking for extras. If you live nearby Chatham, UK, and are in between of 16 and 90 years of age, go ahead and give it a chance!
"We need men and women aged between 16 and 90 years who will be made up to pretend to be people from 19th-century France. The types of role include villagers, passers-by, nuns, students, military officers, and convicts. It is quite easy to get in to, but you must be able to take direction well of course, plus be able to easily reach Chatham. Filming itself starts in March depending on what role the successful candidates are handed.
The open casting happens on Saturday, February 4, at the Rochester Building, University of Kent, Chatham Maritime, between 10am-4pm. The company said it is happy for people to bring along friends and family too."
Jan 13: BBC Radio 4 interviewed Tom Hooper about the upcoming Les Mis movie in their programme Front Row.
I transcribed most of the interview (not always word-to-word, I shortened and rearranged it a bit so it’d be a nicer read):
"I think you have to fight very hard not to get into that mindspace of seeing the successes in a negative way – you have to recognise that what happened on that film [The King’s Speech] was an once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. -- If that kind of success happens again in my life, fantastic, but one has to move forward not presuming that.
What’s interesting about doing Les Misérables next is that, in a sense, that musical is already a part of the global conversation – it’s an existing, iconic work. I think by choosing it I’ve avoided some of the pressure of directing something that has to go from nowhere to that status. There’s already tremendous curiosity about the film and tremendous love for the musical out there. So I think I’ve relieved myself of some of that pressure."
“Les Misérables, as a phenomenon, is The King’s Speech times a hundred, and people desire to re-experience the emotions the music provokes is profound. One of the challenges of directing Les Mis is to make sure that, if someone who has never experienced it before watches it, that I make it connect them with those emotions in the first viewing – it’s not dependent on revisiting the musical.”
“I’m working with Claude-Michel Schönberg, the original composer, who’s writing a new song and some new music for the film.
I’m working with it in a through-sung form. So, I’m not doing the conventional movie musical thing where there’s dialogue and then a musical number. What I’m going to do is that we’ll drop into spoken dialogue for two or three lines here and there. If you take the sung dialogue of Les Misérables, it’s very interesting how you can either fully sing or speak it, it has a real flexibility.
We’re going to shoot the film live, which is unusual for a musical movie. So, from take to take, I can say, ‘let’s try that again but speak that line, or maybe half-way through that line, go back to the melody. What’s fascinating when you’re working this way is that, if you mainly sing something and then you speak a line, it has emphasis. If you’re speaking it, and then you sing a line, it has emphasis. -- It’s so fluid, you don’t have those terrible moments when you go ‘oh my god, now a song’s beginning’."
"I can’t tell you what a difference live singing makes.
The problem with the pre-recorded tracks is that the actors have to spend a lot of their brain power in keeping up with what they did while recording. And, if you have been working hard with a part, you get to this point where you’re singing along something you did two months ago and you hate it! ‘Well, that’s what I did two months ago, but now my understanding of the part has grown.’ And you’re stuck to singing along to something that may be making you cringe -- it distracts the actors' performance. When you’re singing live, all the decisions you can make as an actor are there to be made. You haven’t robbed yourself of your decision-making ability.
But I also think it’s very important dramatically. In a movie, you need to feel, whether a character is singing or speaking, that they’re making it up as they go along. -- When you’re filming live, the illusion that people are thinking through song is far more powerful.”
My comment: All of this sounds good to me, it seems like Hooper might have a pretty good grasp of what Les Mis is all about! Too bad that isn't so clearly visible when it comes to some parts of the rumored casting...
Also! I'm hoping the new song will be played during the credits, as has often happened in recent musical films (the new tunes are usually composed just so the films can compete in the Best Original Song Oscar category). I've no idea to which character they could give a new song in the show itself, and adding anything would be silly since they have to make cuts already... But if it's a new tune for the credits, I can't wait to hear it!
EDIT 12/9/2011: Sorry for the ongoing journal spam, but there suddenly are a lot of rumors!
According to Broadway.com citing The Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye, Aaron Tveit will play Enjolras in the movie. Tveit has experience of both movie and theatre: he's, for example, starred the 2010 movie Howl, and his theatrical credits include originating the roles of Gabe in Next to Normal and Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me If You Can.
According to many sites, for example Cinemablend.com, Sacha Baron Cohen has been cast as the movie Thénardier. Cinemablend quotes a tweet from Matt Lucas, who played Thénardier in the London production this fall: "Sacha will be amazing in the Les Mis movie. He's the funniest man in the world and a good friend. Am excited to see his Thenardier." Baron Cohen is known for his comedic roles, and he has some experience with musicals before, playing the comic relief character of Signor Pirelli in the 2007 Sweeney Todd movie.
Please note that both of these things are only rumors. No official announcement about either has been made.
What is official, though, is the movie's lenght - Cinemablend.com: "Another major factor is the film's length, which he [Tom Hooper] said will be about two and a half hours." The lenght of the Complete Symphonic Cast recording, complete with some scenes that have been cut from the London production already, is around 2 hours and 47 minutes - so chances are not many drastic cuts will have to be made.
EDIT 12/5/11: According to BBC News, Tom Hooper has said no for filming Les Mis in 3D: "I can definitely announce it's good old-fashioned 2D. I did test 3D and I was very tempted - I think it is a very interesting new form. -- I slightly worry with 3D that some people will physically struggle with it. -- I wanted to make a film that would touch everyone. I believe the story is so strong, 3D is not essential."
BBC News adds that Hooper said the casting for Cosette and Éponine will be announced soon, and commented the casting of the movie: "I've never done a film where big star actors are as obsessed with being in it as this!"
According to New York Post, Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood are all running for the role of Éponine. Out of these four, Michele has the most experience with the show: she played little Cosette on Broadway during 1995–1996 and then Éponine at the Hollywood Bowl concert in 2008. However, it's uncertain if the movie Éponine will be one of these ladies. Nothing has been confirmed yet, these are barely rumors. Rumors about both Jamie Campbell Bower or Jonathan Groff auditioning for Enjolras have also been circulating, but no official announcement about that yet, either.
According to an article in Celebrity MSN, the movie's premiere will, most likely, be postponed to 2013. Cameron Mackintosh: "It starts filming in March in England. I don't know how long it takes... We're certainly shooting through to the summer. I don't know how long it'll take us to do post production. I don't know if we'll make it by Christmas of next year, but certainly by some point in 2013. I know it'll be in that 2012/2013 set-up."
Playbill.com has a casting call for the movie Cosette: "COSETTE 18-22 (the younger the better). Fantine’s daughter (first seen as and played by a child) delicate, elegant, vulnerable and beautiful. Falls in love with and later marries Marius. Soprano (to high C)- a light, young “floating” sound, without heavy vibrato. STRONG SOPRANO VOICE VERY IMPORTANT." Auditions will be held on December 10 in New York.
EDIT 10/18/2011: According to BroadwayWorld, Cameron Mackintosh has confirmed Anne Hathaway as Fantine in a BBC Radio interview: "I'd been hoping we could make a film on Les Misérables ever since it opened on Broadway... I've got a marvelous cast so far with Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert and Anne Hathaway as Fantine -- we're busy casting the rest of the parts."
EDIT 9/23/2011: According to Daily Mail, Emma Watson won't be playing Cosette, or any other role for that matter, in the Les Misérables film. The site also claims that Anne Hathaway is confirmed as Fantine and that Helena Bonham Carter is still just a possibility. There's no word about Geoffrey Rush.
What's more, the article has good news for those fed up with the clearly too old Les Amis sadly often seen in different productions: "Hooper’s also looking for 17 and 18-year-olds to play the student revolutionaries — not actors in their 20s." (It's a bit odd to be talking about Les Amis with only two major roles casted for sure, though - so it could be, and has been, argued that Hooper actually meant to say he wants to find young Éponine, Cosette and/or Marius, but the journalist didn't get it right. Who knows.)
Finally, Hugh Jackman is quoted about how the movie's music will be recorded: "There’s the option of recording live or lip-synching and I’ve been down the lip-synching route with the video of Oklahoma! I think singing live might work better with this, but Tom won’t make a decision just yet."
Acting-Auditions.org has released a casting call seeking both principal actors and extras for the upcoming film.
Firstly, the site lists the actors casted so far, with some new names. Universal hasn't released any official announcements about some of these newcomers, so these can't be trusted 100%, but here's the cast so far according to Acting-Auditions.org anyway:
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe as Javert
Geoffrey Rush as Monsieur Thénardier
Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier
Anne Hathaway as Fantine
The native 3D rumor is also well alive and kicking.
Secondly, the movie is seeking extras:
"The casting directors are auditioning actors for the lead and supporting roles, and smaller roles will be cast afterwards. The extras, stand-ins and photo doubles for the actors will be hired closer to the beginning of principal photography, which will commence in mid-March, 2012. You must be legally able to be employed in the United Kingdom to work as an actor or extra in the feature film Les Misérables."
While the site doesn't specify any further requirements for the actors willing to audition, it has an address people can drop their resumes at (Casting Collective, Olympic House, 317-321 Latimer Rd., London W10 6RA, UK for would-be extras - please submit photos and resumes by mail only, no phone calls or personal drop-offs), and also tips for writing your resume at this link.
Check out the site for further info.
If someone decides to try this out, break a leg - how amazing would it be to see a member of this group on the silver screen!