We’ve been hearing rumors for a while, but now it’s official: Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star opposite Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe in Les Misérables, King’s Speech director Tom Hooper‘s adaptation of the hit Broadway show and Victor Hugo novel. Read more after the jump.

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A few interesting bits of news about Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables adaptation have surfaced today. One, it seems the project has found a couple of villains in previously rumored stars Russell Crowe and Helena Bonham Carter. And two, we finally know when, exactly, we can expect to see the finished product. Read more after the jump.

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Anne Hathaway Approached for ‘Les Miserables’?

Casting rumors have been swirling around Les Miserables, Tom Hooper‘s big-screen adaptation of the megahit Broadway musial, for quite some time, but this one seems more solid than your usual water cooler chatter. Star Hugh Jackman is reportedly pushing Anne Hathaway for the role of Fantine, the unwed mother of Cosette. (Or, if neither of those charcter names mean anything to you, feel free to think of Fantine as the one who sings Susan Boyle’s signature song “I Dreamed a Dream.”) Read on after the jump.

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Perfect casting. Hugh Jackman is currently in talks to star in Tom Hooper‘s upcoming musical adaptation of Les Miserables, and while we don’t know which role it’s for yet, it’s perfect casting either way. For most of us, Jackman is best known as the clawed mutant Wolverine but his true passion lies on the stage, where he’s a Tony award winning actor who can sing and dance. Now imagine combining the gritty nature of Wolverine with singing and dancing (but not in a campy way) and you’d have either Jean Valjean or Javert, the two male leads of the classic story by Victor Hugo which was famously turn into a Broadway standard. Read more after the break. Read More »

Coming off his recent Best Director Oscar win for The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper is going back in time from 20th century England to 19th Century France. He’s in talks to direct a new version of Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo but best known from its Tony Award-winning Broadway musical adaptation. Les Mis is the story of a peasant named Jean Valjean who steals a loaf of bread for his starving family and is sent to prison. After being released on parole, he breaks it, assumes a new identity and eventually becomes wrapped up in a revolution while living his life on the run from his true past. Read more about Hooper’s version of the film after the break. Read More »

April Fools? The Weinstein Company announced today that the PG-13 version of big Oscar winner The King’s Speech will open on April 1. The film was originally rated R for a string of expletives uttered by Colin Firth as his character, King George VI, attempts to break through his stutter. Because violence is OK but a couple instances of the word ‘fuck’ aren’t, that was enough to land the film with an R.

When this cut goes out to theaters it will be on 1000 screens, replacing the R-rated version that is currently being shown. So if you want to see the original cut of the film on the big screen, you have eight more days, counting today. Deadline reports that the PG-13 cut involves replacing all the instances of ‘fuck’ with the word ‘shit.’ Otherwise, it is exactly the same as the R-rated version. April Fool’s indeed. Wonder if director (sorry, Best Director) Tom Hooper still disapproves of this move? I’d expect so. The press release is after the break. Read More »

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Harvey Weinstein has created a new, more family-friendly PG-13 cut of The King’s Speech, but the film’s director Tom Hooper, the proud owner of a shiny new Best Director Oscar, hasn’t yet seen the cut. Within the context of creative enterprise this is an interesting representation of the cross purposes of storytelling and business, but after the resounding endorsement of the current version of the film (four Oscars, over $100m domestic box office) is the whole idea of a different edit just a weird coda to the film’s success story? Read More »

Movie Review: ‘The King’s Speech’

[Update –  Seeing as The King’s Speech just won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, we though we’d re-run Germain’s rave review from November. Review starts after the jump.]

Everyone knows the American Film Institute as the people who do the 100 Years series. But they’re much more than that. They’re a worthy organization who work not only preserve great cinema but also to teach a new generation to make great cinema of their own. Also, each year in they host their own film festival called AFI Fest which, in the past two years, has distinguished itself from most other major film festivals by giving away all tickets for free.

The location of the festival is pretty special, too, especially for film fans. It’s located smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, so films play in some of the most famous movie theaters in the world. Take, for example, Friday night. I got to check out the highly buzzed about political period piece The King’s Speech in Grauman’s Chinese Theater, preceded by a tribute to not only director Tom Hooper, but stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush too, who were all in attendance. It was a very special evening thanks in mostly in part to a fantastic film. Read the full review after the jump and check back over the course of the week for more coverage from AFI Fest. Read More »

The Weinstein Company found itself embroiled in two battles with the MPAA last year. One was over the film Blue Valentine, which was given an NC-17 for one sex scene, and the rating was successfully appealed down to an R without edits being made to the film.

The other was for The King’s Speech, given an R for profanity, most of which is uttered in one sequence where King George VI (Colin Firth) attempts to break through his stutter. That appeal was unsuccessful, and the film’s R rating stuck. But when the film was nominated for many Oscars, the company said it might edit the film to get a PG-13 in order to capitalize on awards momentum. Now the edited version of the film has been given a PG-13. Read More »