Hugh Jackman in line for ‘Les Misérables’ movie

Paul Bettany may join the cast as Javert

Hugh Jackman is said to be the number one choice for the lead role of Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, in a new film adaptation of the famous work.

The project, to be made by Tom Hooper, director of The King’s Speech, is set to start shooting by the end of the year.

As reported by Deadline, no official talks have been made with Jackman, but the Australian actor is considered to be top of the list.

British actor Paul Bettany is also being talked up for the role of Javert, a policeman hell-bent on bringing Valjean to justice.

Best known as ‘the longest-running musical in the world’, Les Misérables enjoyed its 10,000th performance in London’s West End in January 2010. Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables has been adapted for the big screen several times, most recently in 1998, with Liam Neeson taking on the role of Valjean.

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Jackman, who sang and danced his way through hosting the Oscars in 2009, has previously won a Tony Award for Outstanding Actor for his role in the hit musical The Boy From Oz. He also hosted the Tony Awards from 2003-2005, winning an Emmy for his turn in 2004.

If Jackman does sign on it’ll mark the beginning of a busy period for the Australian, with the Wolverine sequel having today (June 16) found a new director in James Mangold. Hugh Jackman will next be seen in Real Steel, a boxing drama set in the near-future where robots have replaced humans as fighters. It is due for UK release on October 7, 2011.

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