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Hugh Jackman Up For Les Miserables

He may play Jean Valjean...

Though he’s proved time and time again that he’s got some serious musical chops, Hugh Jackman has only rarely had the chance to show them off on the big screen. But now it looks like he’ll get a real challenge as The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper wants him to star in his new, cinematic musical version of Les Miserables.

Jackman boasts a tenor voice, which means that he’d most likely play Jean Valjean, a man recently released from prison that finds a way to re-invent his life and becomes a wealthy factory owner and mayor. But the dedicated police officer Javert is on his trail in the story, which takes place in early 19th century France. Oh, and talking of the obsessed plod? Deadline has heard Paul Bettany has read (and sung) as a possible candidate for the part.

The stage show, which was originally produced by Cameron Mackintosh, has become one of the most successful musicals of all time, with productions still running in several cities. Gladiator’s William Nicholson has written the script, which Hooper will direct for Universal. And thought Jackman’s still only in talks, he has been on the hunt for new projects after The Wolverine got shoved back into limbo. Oh, and if anyone doubts his musical abilities, just check out his performance on this year’s Tony Awards, which saw him share the stage with host Neil Patrick Harris in an attempt to find out which of them was more qualified to present the show…