After months of speculation, rumors, and reports, Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables has finally found its Éponine. Producer Cameron Mackintosh has just announced that 21-year-old stage vet Samantha Barks has landed the role. Barks is a newcomer when it comes to film and television, but has racked up plenty of experience in the theater — including a stint playing Éponine in a London production of Les Misérables.

Meanwhile, another fresh face, George Blagden, has also boarded the project, in the part of cynical young revolutionary Grantaire. Blagden and Barks join a high-profile cast that includes Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, and Aaron Tveit. Read more after the jump.

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[Update: Deadline now reports that Seyfried is in final negotiations for the role.]

Tom Hooper‘s already star-studded cast for Les Misérables is about to expand by two more, as news breaks that Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift have been offered the roles of Cosette and Éponine, respectively. If Seyfried and Swift accept, they’ll also be joining Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Aaron Tveit, and Eddie Redmayne in the musical, which is due out next winter. Read more after the jump.

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‘Les Misérables’ Cast May Sing Live on Camera

That Tony Award-winning Broadway vet Hugh Jackman was a great pick to star as Jean Valjean Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables was never in doubt, but it seems his theater experience may prove even more helpful to the film production than we previously expected. According to a new report, Hooper has ordered his cast to sing live while shooting their scenes, much as they would if they were performing in a stage musical.

The more usual method is to record the vocals in a studio and lip-synch during filming, so Hooper’s decision suggests that we may be seeing something more traditionally theatrical than we’re used to seeing from big-screen musicals. Read more after the jump.

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There’s still no word on who’ll be playing Éponine in Tom Hooper‘s Les Misérables, but the project has landed yet another well-known star to play her father. According to LondonNetSacha Baron Cohen is set to join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Eddie Redmayne in the musical, in the role of the villainous inn owner Monsieur Thénardier. Helena Bonham Carter was said to be in talks to play Thénardier’s wife earlier this year, but it’s not clear whether she’s actually attached at this point.

Cohen did a bit of singing in his last big-screen musical, Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and is slated to do still more as the lead of that Freddie Mercury biopic from producer Graham King. In terms of non-singing roles, Cohen recently appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, and already has three more movies scheduled to open next year — The Dictator, Madagascar 3, and Django Unchained. Get used to that face, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it in 2012.

Les Misérables opens December 7, 2012. [via The Playlist]

After the jump, a Disney gal decides it’s time to break into more mature territory, and Diablo Cody’s next project finds a mom for Julianne Hough.

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The cast of Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables is already plenty star-studded, with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and up-and-comer Eddie Redmayne all signed on at present — but as anyone familiar with the book or stage musical can attest, that still leaves several juicy roles remaining to be filled.

One of the most notable is the part of Éponine, perhaps best remembered for her big solo number “On My Own,” but that could change soon. According to a new rumor, Scarlett Johansson, Evan Rachel Wood, Lea Michele, and Taylor Swift are competing for the role, though a decision has yet to be made. More details after the jump.

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It’s difficult to decide which aspect of My Week With Marilyn is its best asset. The film provides an insider look at movie history, gives interesting insight into legendary personalities, has magnificent performances and a wonderful score. Nope, it’s none of those things. The best thing about My Week With Marilyn, Simon Curtis‘ delightful snapshot of Hollywood history, is how it gives audience the ultimate wish-fulfillment. We get to experience what it would be like to do something we’ve all dreamed of: spend a day with the most beautiful and famous person on the planet.

Scheduled for release November 23, it’s based on the true diaries of a young man named Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) who talked his way into a job with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and, while shooting the film The Prince and the Showgirl, developed a unique relationship with the most famous woman in the world: Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams).

My Week With Marilyn screened at the AFI Fest Presented by Audi and you can read more about it below. Read More »

My Week with Marilyn star Eddie Redmayne will join Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper‘s prestige musical Les Miserables. Based on the hit Broadway show and Victor Hugo‘s classic novel of the same title, the film follows an ex-con named Valjean (Jackman) in 19th century France as he seeks to redeem himself. Redmayne will play Marius, who falls in love with Cosette, daughter of Fantine (Hathaway) and eventual charge of Valjean.

Les Miserables is already being touted as a likely Oscar contender, with a release date of December 7, 2012. Redmayne isn’t exactly a household name yet, but has marked himself as a talent to watch in projects like The Good Shepherd, My Week with Marilyn, and Hick. [Deadline]

After the jump, Rashida Jones and the guy who played Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris befriend Samantha Morton, while David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook picks up a Boardwalk Empire star.

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One of the great pleasures of cinema is watching people live out the lives of others, and therefore the biopic thrives. It isn’t enough that movies have enshrined many personalities in perpetuity; we still love seeing their lives lived again, through others.

And so we have My Week With Marilyn, a film in which Michelle Williams has the unenviable task of conjuring the presence of one of cinema’s most famous icons. She plays Marilyn in a film based on a true story about the experience one young man (played by Eddie Redmayne) had with the star. See the just-released trailer below,  and you’ll begin to get a sense of whether Williams’ version of Marilyn can be reconciled with the real thing. Read More »

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