Could the inclusion of former Academy Award hosts help make the newest film rendition of “Les Miserables” an Oscar contender? Director Tom Hooper – who won an Oscar for last year’s “The King’s Speech” – is talking to Anne Hathaway about joining musical actor Hugh Jackman in his upcoming film remake of “Les Miserables.” Jackman — already cast in the lead role of Jean Valjean — has voiced support for Anne Hathaway to join him in the musical about the French Revolution. With two singing Oscar hosts potentially on board, is the Tony Award-winning musical destined for Oscar glory?
While co-host James Franco was panned for his flat performance hosting the Academy Awards, many were impressed with current Catwoman Anne Hathaway’s vocal prowess when singing, ironically right to Hugh Jackman. The actress from “The Devil Wears Prada” has proven she has the vocal chops to play the tragic Fantine, the role that sings the most iconic number in the show, “I Dreamed a Dream.” Joining former Oscar host, and Broadway veteran Hugh Jackman, the two are poised to impress the world with very dramatic performances that are matched only by the powerful, vocally demanding songs from the show. With the love of the Academy from their hosting duties, and the tendency for actors who sing to get nominations, these two could help catapult each other to the title of Oscar winner, as well as former host.
Perhaps director Tom Hooper should employ other Oscar host alumni to further ensure award consideration. Billy Crystal, a host favorite and the man who made the award show musical montage famous, would be a fitting choice for Thenardier, the vindictive innkeeper who plagues Valjean throughout the story. And Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg loves any opportunity to sing, and could play the innkeeper’s bawdy and brash wife. Including these two comedic actors with vocal chops and a history with the Academy could increase Hooper’s chances to make this film rendition the most popular to date.
Award hosts aside, rumors swarm that other cast members include Oscar favorites. These include winners Geoffrey Rush (who was in the non-musical version in 1987) and Russell Crowe, and multiple nominee Helena Bonham Carter. The cast rumors also include up-and-coming Emma Watson – looking for a new iconic role to persuade everyone she is not just Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger – and musical actress Miranda Cosgrove.
Whether or not Hooper can add more Oscar hosts to his cast roster, there is no doubt that the Academy beloved director is poised to make an epic new rendition of a musical that has succeeded all over the world for more than two decades. The legacy of “Les Miserables” may add a few awards to its eight Tony awards with this newest rendition, especially given the recent casting news. It might just be the vehicle to turn Oscar hosts Jackman and Hathaway into Oscar winners.
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