Very few directors made historical films quite like Tom Hooper did. He had the gift of seemingly getting inside the minds of some of the most powerful figures in history and exploring onscreen their s...
Barks, who competed in Lloyd Webber's 2008 U.K. TV talent show I'd Do Anything, saw off competition from Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele and Taylor Swift to land the coveted role in director Tom Hooper's upcoming big screen adaptation.
And Lloyd Webber is overjoyed Barks, who came third in his search to find a star to play Nancy in the Oliver! musical, has snatched the part from Hollywood big hitters.
He tells Britain's Daily Express, "I'm incredibly proud that Samantha is enjoying such huge success. She will make the perfect Eponine and I wish her all the luck."
Evan Rachel Wood was also rumoured to be vying for the part of Eponine in Tom Hooper's upcoming movie-musical, while Glee star Michele recently admitted it would be "embarrassing" if she didn't land the job due to expectations from fans.
Hooper has now chosen Barks for the role following her stint playing the character on the West End stage in 2010 and a representative from Universal Pictures announced the news on Tuesday (31Jan12).
Barks has revealed she is delighted to have landed the role, saying in a statement, "I can't believe I'm going to play Eponine, a role so close to my heart, a role I played in the West End. It's the happiest moment of my life."
She will appear alongside Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, who have already signed up as castmembers.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in March (12).
The little known star shot to fame on U.K. TV talent show I'd Do Anything, competing to land the part of Nancy in Mackintosh's Oliver! musical.
She was performing in the show at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, England on Tuesday (31Jan12) when Mackintosh walked onto the stage during the curtain call to inform her she had won the coveted part of Eponine in director Tom Hooper's big screen adaptation of Les Miserables.
He told the audience, "For the last few months in Broadway, Hollywood and London we have been searching (for Eponine) - now I can reveal director Tom Hooper has chosen her (Barks) for the movie."
Barks, who played Eponine in Mackintosh's West End version of the show, is said to have seen off fierce competition from stars including Scarlett Johansson, Lea Michele and Taylor Swift to land the role, and she admits she was stunned when the producer delivered the news.
She tells BBC Breakfast, "I had absolutely no idea (that was going to happen)... I was there taking my bow and the next moment Cameron Mackintosh walks on to the stage with that news. It surprised me. I am still shocked. It's an incredible cast. I'm very excited to meet them and work with them all... I just played her in the West End for the year and now it's the movie..."
Barks will star alongside Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, and production is scheduled to begin in March (12).
The moviemaker took home the prestigious honour for his silent movie The Artist, seeing off competition from Hollywood heavyweights Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris) and Martin Scorsese (Hugo), David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Alexander Payne (The Descendants).
The trophy launches Hazanavicius into pole position to win an Academy Award in February (12), as the winner of the DGA has gone on to win the Best Director Oscar all but six times since the guild began handing out awards in 1949.
Accepting his prize, Hazanavicius said, "It's maybe the highest recognition I could hope for. Maybe you noticed, but I'm French. I have an accent. I have a name that is very difficult to pronounce. I'm not American and I'm not French, actually - I'm a film-maker...
"I feel like I'm being accepted by you, not as Americans, but as film-makers. This is really very moving and very touching for me."
The guild's choice for Best Director has also been the person behind the Oscars' Best Picture 50 times - in 2011, Tom Hooper went on to land the Best Director and Best Picture honour at the Academy Awards for The King's Speech.
The Artist has been nominated in 10 categories, including Best Director and Best Picture, at the upcoming Academy Awards.
The King's Speech moviemaker is said to have met fashion designer Tara Subkoff during last year's (11) Hollywood awards season and he reportedly proposed in Paris, France in May (11).
However, a new report suggests Hooper ended the relationship last weekend (21-22Jan12).
A source tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "They had just celebrated their one-year anniversary... He broke up with her on Friday, and the last time they spoke was Saturday... (He) just wasn't ready to get married. He's married to his career. He's just going into production on a huge film. He's under a tremendous amount of pressure..."
Tom Hooper's Les Misérables has roped in another talented player to join its tsunami of a cast. Now, when you consider the existing players of Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Eddie Redmayne, you might cringe a little at the idea of the role of Enjolras being filled by a Gossip Girl star. But cringe no further! Aaron Tveit is no slouch when it comes to musical theater.
Tveit may be recognizable foremost as Gossip Girl's Trip van der Bilt (and it doesn't help that his character has the Gossip Girliest name imaginable), but he also has roots in Broadway acting. Tveit starred in Wicked, Next to Normal and the theatrical production of Catch Me if You Can. Tveit has shown artistic prowess on screen as well, having starred opposite James Franco in the Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl.
In Les Mis, Enjolras is the leader of the student revolution that is central to the musical's story. Along with the aforementioned actors, Tveit joins Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift in Hooper's developing adaptation of the musical.
Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper plans to film the musical with an all-star cast singing live instead of lip-synching to a soundtrack.
Redmayne, who will play student Marius, reveals he's been working with experts to get his vocal skills up to scratch and has already tested out his abilities onset.
He tells the BBC, "I'm in hardcore singing lessons. I was down in Pinewood (Studios) yesterday doing some tests with Tom and it's all happening...
"If you record an album and then make a music video to that album you are restricted by the choices you made. It is months in advance of what you know what your character (sic) is actually going to be doing. So the idea is that the piano will play and we'll sing live - they've tested it all and I think it will be good."
Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway will also star in Hooper's Les Miserables, due for release in December (12).
The moviemakers' films Midnight in Paris and Hugo will compete alongside David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist and Alexander Payne's The Descendants for the prestigious DGA honour on 29 January (12).
According to awards-watch website GoldDerby.com, the winner of the DGA has gone on to win the Best Director Oscar at the Academy Awards all but six times since the guild began handing out awards in 1949.
And in the prizegiving's 63-year history, the guild's choice for Best Director has been the person behind the Oscars' Best Picture 50 times.
Last year's winner, Tom Hooper, went on to lift the Best Director and Best Picture honour at the Academy Awards for The King's Speech.
Fincher, Hazanavicius and Payne have never won the Director's Guild prize, while both Scorsese and Allen have one victory each - Scorsese for The Departed and Allen for Annie Hall.
We've heard much news on the casting of the developing film adaptation of Les Misérables. We know that Hugh Jackman will lead the story as the heroic revolutionary Jean Valjean, teamed with Anne Hathaway as the tortured Fantine and pit against Russell Crowe as the didactic Inspector Javert. We know that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are taking the diabolical but comical Thénardier couple, and that Eddie Redmayne will play the kind and charming Marius.
Surprised by any of this so far? Probably not—all of the cast members are pretty classic choices, seemingly tailor made for their respective roles. But these new bits of casting are slightly more on the offbeat side: singer Taylor Swift and blossoming actress Amanda Seyfried have been offered roles in the film.
We heard about Taylor Swift as a potential candidate some time ago. She was up against Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood for the part of Eponine, the spoiled daughter of the Thénardiers who falls for Marius in young adulthood. Although Swift is a talented singer, some of us might be surprised that she beat out the likes of Lea Michele, whose talents are uniquely celebrated among these potentials in both singing and acting. Swift has not officially accepted the part just yet.
Seyfried has been offered the role of Cosette, daughter of Fantine who is abused by the Thenardiers in childhood, is raised by Jean Valjean, and wins the heart of Marius. Seyfried also has a singing background—in opera, as a matter of fact (not to mention her role in Mama Mia!—which certainly bodes well for the actress. Although being surrounded by the heavily prominent names of Jackman, Hathaway and the like makes Seyfried seem like sort of the cast's wild card, we'd be foolish to ignore her obvious talents. Seyfried, too, has yet to officially accept.
And so our excitement for Les Mis burns on. Keep fanning the flame, director Tom Hooper.
The Real Steel star's one-man show, Back on Broadway, at the Broadhurst Theatre closed on Sunday (01Jan12) after having earned over $2 million (GBP1.25 million) in its final week - the highest weekly gross recorded by the Shubert Organisation, which owns the Broadhurst and 16 other Big Apple theatres.
Jackman earned an estimated $14.6 million (GBP9.1 million) from his 10-week run and raised over $1.7 million (GBP1.06 million) for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS charity.
The actor is now preparing for his upcoming role in Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper's Les Miserables movie adaptation, which will start shooting in March (12).
Made feature debut with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission drama "Red Dust"
Directed epic miniseries "John Adams" for Playtone and HBO; film starred Paul Giamatti as John Adams; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing and a nomination from the Directors Guild of America
Directed all-star cast for feature adaptation of popular musical drama "Les Misérables"
After graduating from Oxford, directed television commercials
Nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing
While still in school, directed Kate Beckinsale in "A View From the Bridge" and Emily Mortimer in "The Trial" at the Oxford Playhouse
Directed BBC costume drama "Love in a Cold Climate," which was based on Nancy Mitford's novels The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film ("The King’s Speech")
Directed Colin Firth as King George in "The King’s Speech"
For Robinson, directed episodes of the short-lived Tyne Tees Television soap opera "Quayside" and four episodes of the Children's BBC television series "Byker Grove"
Re-teamed with writer Peter Morgan for "The Damned United"
Directed several episodes of the BBC One soap opera "EastEnders"
Introduced by his father to television producer Matthew Robinson
Directed Helen Mirren in revival of "Prime Suspect" titled "The Last Witness"; the two-part serial was broadcast on the ITV network; earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing
Nominated for the 2011 Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture ("The King’s Speech")
Nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture
Directed the British television miniseries "Elizabeth I," starring Mirren in title role; aired on HBO in U.S.
Directed the Granada/HBO television film "Longford," starring Jim Broadbent and Samantha Morton; first collaboration with writer Peter Morgan
Very few directors made historical films quite like Tom Hooper did. He had the gift of seemingly getting inside the minds of some of the most powerful figures in history and exploring onscreen their struggles, vanities, failures and successes. The British director first gained international acclaim with the biopic, "Elizabeth I" (Channel 4, 2005), a moving portrayal of the later years of the nearly 45-year-long reign of Elizabeth I of England. He also earned critical accolades for directing the award-winning epic miniseries "John Adams" (HBO, 2008), which explored the role of President John Adams in the founding of the United States. His career rose to new heights after he helmed "The King's Speech" (2010), a film that captured the riveting bond between an insecure monarch and the therapist who helped him overcome a debilitating speech impediment. The picture, which received several Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, helped establish Hooper as an authoritative cinematic voice. By the time he directed the highly anticipated adaptation of "Les Misérables" (2012), Hooper was one of Hollywood's most sought-after directors.