By David Ng
10:18 AM CDT, May 30, 2012
The poor souls of "Les Misérables" belt out songs of poverty and despair. In melodious voices, they dream a dream of a better life and happier days. But perhaps what they're really dreaming about is Oscar night.
Starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, the new movie version of the hit stage musical is scheduled to open in December for maximum awards impact. For the past few months, the folks at Universal have been stoking public interest in the prestige project by releasing a steady stream of on-set photographs. Jackman, who plays Jean Valjean, has tweeted from the production.
On Wednesday, the first trailer for "Les Misérables" was released online. Anne Hathaway, who plays the forlorn prostitute Fantine, sings "I Dreamed a Dream." (Some may wonder why the producers didn't cast Susan Boyle instead.) We catch glimpses of Jackman, Crowe as Inspector Javert, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Eddie Redmayne as Marius.
"Les Misérables," based on the Victor Hugo novel, opened on Broadway in 1987 and closed in 2003 after more than 6,600 performances. (Will the musical's cult following translate to big box office? Or will the movie go the way of recent screen musicals like"Nine"and "The Phantom of the Opera"?)
The musical continues to tour the country, having recently played at the Ahmanson. The tour will open at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa in June.