Russell Crowe has joined the cast of Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, Deadline reports. He'll play Inspector Javert to Hugh Jackman's Jean Valjean.
Based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel, the hit Broadway musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg opened in 1985, beginning one of the longest runs for a musical ever. Set against the backdrop of the 19th Century French rebellion, Jackman's character is a man who ends up in jail after stealing bread to feed his sister and ends up becoming the guardian of a young woman named Cosette. The musical has been adapted for the screen by William Nicholson.
Hooper is going to be following up his Oscar win for The King's Speech with the adaptation, set up at Working Title and Universal Pictures.
The movie will be the first time that Jackman, who has sung and danced on Broadway in his Tony-winning role in "The Boy From Oz" as well as host of the Oscars and Tonys, would perform in that capacity on screen. The film will likewise mark the first big screen musical for Crowe, who sings for his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.
Lining up a diverse series of projects, Crowe will soon also appear in RZA's directing debut The Man with the Iron Fists, Allen Hughes' Broken City and Zack Snyder's Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Though currently shooting, that film will actually be released after Les Misérables, which is planned to hit theaters on December 7, 2012.