Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, and Evan Rachel Wood in the Running to Play Eponine in LES MISERABLES

     November 30, 2011

Director Tom Hooper is readying his big budget musical adaptation of Les Miserables to go in front of cameras early next year, and with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway locked in as his leads (as Jean Valjean, Javert, and Fantine respectively), he’s setting his sights on the role of Eponine. The filmmakers have apparently whittled the contenders down to Taylor Swift, Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele, and Evan Rachel Wood. It’s an eclectic mix of actresses, and each one brings something different to the role. Hit the jump for more.

lea-michele-imageJohansson would certainly bring some acting gravitas to the part (she has singing experience too), while Michele is the Broadway veteran of the bunch. The Glee star played Young Cosette on Broadway and played Eponine in a 2008 concert version of the musical at the Hollywood Bowl. Swift definitely has music experience, but her acting is a bit lacking and I’m not sure she has the vocal range to take on a musical of this caliber (though I could be wrong). Wood has some musical background as well, not to mention her work in Across the Universe.

The news comes courtesy of the NY Post (via The Playlist), whose source claims that Michele “knocked it out of the park” when she auditioned for the King’s Speech director. It’s important to note that the NY Post can be a little unreliable at times, so this shortlist isn’t necessarily a sure thing. That being said, of this group I think Michele and Johansson are the two best choices for the role. They’re both excellent actresses and bring a certain “X-factor” to the part that makes the casting choice that much more intriguing.  All-in-all, Hooper’s adaptation is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated films of 2012. In addition to Jackman, Crowe, and Hathaway, his stellar cast also includes Eddie Redmayne as Marius. Les Miserables opens December 25th, 2012.

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