Home > News, Oscars, Trailers and Videos > Tom Hooper in Talks to Direct “Les Miserables” Film Adaptation

Tom Hooper in Talks to Direct “Les Miserables” Film Adaptation

Well….shit. This is some of the best and worst news that I’ve heard in quite a long time. Perhaps more impactful things have happened to the world of cinema that have affected me in different ways. However, this news is rubbing me in a way I really can’t even describe.

I guess that it’s important to know the history. Most people have heard of or seen a production of “Les Miserables” at some point in their lives. It’s practically the most popular and adored musical of the last quarter century. I am definitely one of its fans. Little do some people know that before turning to a life of film, I did a lot of theater. I starred in a number of plays in high school, musical and dramatic, and dabbled in stage direction, as well. Without a doubt, my favorite performance that I’ve ever had the opportunity to give on stage was the role of Javert in “Les Miserables,” and ever since then, I have been eternally hooked on every aspect of said play.

Since I’m such a fan, I have been waiting and hoping for a film adaptation of the musical itself to come along for the better part of a decade. It is my absolute dream film. I would wait in line for weeks at opening night for a ticket. Now, it appears that it’s finally happening and all I can feel is disappointment.

Why, oh, why, oh, why in heaven’s name did they have to go with Tom Hooper. I can think of any number of names who I’d rather see attached to my dream project. Directors well-suited for the job would include Roman Polanski, Guillermo Del Toro, Joe Wright, Stephen Daldry, Baz Luhrman, Paul Thomas Anderson, Frank Darabont, hell, even J.J. Abrams might be a stellar choice.

You know, maybe Hooper’s not even a terrible decision. I mean, the man is not a bad director. He did, in fact, do a phenomenal job with the “John Adams” miniseries. Perhaps this film is actually right up his alley. Yet right now, I just can’t see it, because for the last few months, I cannot imagine him as anything more than an antagonist. Partnered with Harvey Weinstein, he is the arch nemesis to what what could have been one of the greatest Oscar outcomes in recent memory. Will I ever be able to shrug off this hatred and enjoy the man for what he can produce and how good his craft can be. Maybe.

Yet, for now, I mourn…..

Below is a clip, not from the musical production itself, but from the 25th Anniversary Concert. Whoever was conducting this should be shot for what he did to some of these cues, but this is still a powerful rendition of one of the show’s greatest numbers.

  1. April 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Hey Tommy,

    I am curious about what your thoughts are on the 1998 film version with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, and Uma Thurman? It was decent if I recall correctly (haven’t watched it since my high school freshman year history class), but it’s on my Netflix. Just wondering what you feel might be improved with this newer adaptation, and if the Hooper rendition is going to be anything like “Mama Mia”? I pray not…

  2. April 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I think that it’s a decent enough film. Problem is that adapting a 1500 page book into a little over two hours, is gonna be problematic. For instance, the role of Thenardier, the innkeeper was almost entirely removed. Not to mention that they literally cut out the ENTIRE THIRD ACT of the story. Good casting though, for the most part.

    I am not as much worried about this being like Mamma Mia as I am it being like “Sweeney Todd.” This movie NEEDS amazing voice casting, and lets face it, some of those individuals in “Sweeney Todd” just couldn’t get it done. I’m also wondering how they’re going to pull off an “all-singing” film like this. Three hours of constant singing. That’s gonna need some epically good editing.

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