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.