UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ LES MISERABLES TO OPEN IN SELECT IMAX® THEATRES BEGINNING DECEMBER 25

FILM’S LIMITED DOMESTIC IMAX RUN IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, TORONTO AND MONTREAL BEGINS ON CHRISTMAS DAY; INTERNATIONAL RELEASE IN SELECT TERRITORIES STARTS JAN. 10, 2013

IMAX CORPORATION and UNIVERSAL PICTURES today announced that LES MISERABLES, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX format and released in select IMAX(®) digital theatres worldwide.  The film will begin its limited domestic IMAX run in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal day-and-date with its domestic release on December 25. Internationally, the film will begin its IMAX run on January 10 in the Netherlands, followed by Russia, U.K., Mexico, Croatia, Israel, Poland, Italy, France and Brazil.

Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) embraces a very ill Fantine (ANNE HATHAWAY) in "Les Misérables", Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham. Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

A very ill Fantine (Anna Hathaway) is held by Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) in Les Miserables. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham. Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

 

In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical brings its power to the big screen in Tom Hooper’s sweeping and spectacular interpretation of VICTOR HUGO‘s epic tale.  With international superstars and beloved songs–including “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More” and “On My Own“–LES MISERABLES, the show of shows, is now reborn as the cinematic musical experience of a lifetime.

LES MISERABLES is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation that has been seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 27th year. Helmed by THE KING’S SPEECH‘s ACADEMY AWARD(®)-WINNING DIRECTOR, TOM HOOPER, the WORKING TITLE/CAMERON MACKINTOSH PRODUCTION stars HUGH JACKMAN, OSCAR(®) WINNER RUSSELL CROWE, ANNE HATHAWAY, AMANDA SEYFRIED, EDDIE REDMAYNE, AARON TVEIT, SAMANTHA BARKS, WITH HELENA BONHAM CARTER and SACHA BARON COHEN.

(Center) Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) hauls a massive ship into port in "Les Misérables", Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

(Center) Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) hauls a massive ship into port in “Les Misérables”, Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

Les Miserables is a musical epic that lends itself perfectly to The IMAX Experience®,” said NIKKI ROCCO, PRESIDENT OF DISTRIBUTION, UNIVERSAL PICTURES.  “Audiences will be immersed in the unforgettable music and breathtaking visuals that only IMAX can provide.”

Universal’s Les Miserables is a captivating cinematic event that is an ideal fit for The IMAX Experience®,” said GREG FOSTER, CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT OF IMAX FILMED ENTERTAINMENT.  “The enhanced visual spectrum and precise, powerful IMAX sound will transport audiences to 19th-century France, where they will feel as if they are there on set as Tom Hooper’s ensemble cast performs Les Mis’ classic soundtrack.”

HUGH JACKMAN as Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year.

HUGH JACKMAN as Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, LES MISERABLES tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption–a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.  Jackman plays ex-prisoner JEAN VALJEAN, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman JAVERT (Crowe) after he breaks parole.  When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker FANTINE‘s (Hathaway) young daughter, COSETTE, their lives change forever. With its story’s bands of the disenfranchised joining together to challenge corruption and demand change, the VICTOR HUGO 150-year-old tale that inspired the world’s longest-running musical has never been timelier.

Oscar® winner RUSSELL CROWE as Javert in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Oscar® winner RUSSELL CROWE as Javert in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Director Hooper reflects that he was drawn to the material on many levels: “One of the things that was so exciting about doing The King’s Speech was the emotion it provoked in audiences around the world. It made me very much want to make my next film with a subject that would provoke even stronger emotions.”

AMANDA SEYFRIED as Cosette in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

AMANDA SEYFRIED as Cosette in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Moved to tears while reading the script (by screenwriter WILLIAM NICHOLSON) on a flight from London to Los Angeles, Hooper knew that he had found his next film. “With the combination of how the musical made me feel and the effect the screenplay had on me, I thought there was an amazing opportunity to work in a very emotional way. I was drawn to the combination of this extraordinary story and the transcendence and pull of the music.”

Oscar® winner RUSSELL CROWE (center) as Javert in "Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

Oscar® winner RUSSELL CROWE (center) as Javert in “Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

There was another major attraction for Hooper when he considered a filmic adaptation of a fully through-sung musical. While many musicals have good portions of dialogue, LES MISÉRABLES is almost completely through-sung. He explains: “I wanted to take a risk and do something very different in a different genre. From the beginning, what excited me was the idea of doing it live. I don’t think I would have done it if it turned out not to be possible to direct the film live, because no matter how good the synchronization is of actors singing to playback, an audience can tell that there’s something unreal about it. It doesn’t feel connected to what is occurring on the screen.”

Young Cosette (ISABELLE ALLEN) holds on tight to Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) in "Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Young Cosette (ISABELLE ALLEN) holds on tight to Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) in “Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Already a fan of the show, HUGH JACKMAN had seen Les Misérables three times and had in fact sung “Stars” during one of his first auditions just out of drama school. “Valjean is one of the greatest literary characters of all time,” he notes. “You follow him for a 20-year span, having been released on parole as an ex-convict, to becoming mayor of a town, to becoming an outcast again. Throughout that time, you see all the ups and downs, the pain and the ecstasy that life brings. He is incredibly human, remarkably stoic and powerful and, ultimately, completely inspiring. His life is truly epic.”

Drawn as well to the universal themes of redemption that Hugo’s story evokes, Jackman says: “Valjean is the recipient of one of the most beautiful and touching moments of grace from the bishop and, in the shame of that moment, he decides to mend his ways and dedicate his life and his soul to God and to being of service to the community. He is constantly striving to be a better person, to live up to what he thinks God wants from him.”

Fantine (ANNE HATHAWAY) is thrown out of the factory in "Les Misérables. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

Fantine (ANNE HATHAWAY) is thrown out of the factory in “Les Misérables. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

ANNE HATHAWAY’s connection with the project began long before the filmmakers approached her to try out the role of Fantine. When Hathaway was seven years old, [producer par excellence] CAMERON MACKINTOSH had cast her mother in the U.S. national tour of Les Misérables as a factory girl; she also played Fantine a number of times during her time with the company. Truly, Hathaway had grown up with the music and loved it. Supplies Hooper: “Annie is the female equivalent of Hugh in terms of having that extraordinary facility at knowing how to act through song. And it’s not just acting through song. It’s acting in close-up through song, the demands of which make it quite different from performing on stage.”

Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) embraces a very ill Fantine (ANNE HATHAWAY) in "Les Misérables", Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham. Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) embraces a very ill Fantine (ANNE HATHAWAY) in “Les Misérables”, Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham. Copyright: © 2012 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Hathaway, who performs a gut-wrenching, bravura performance of the iconic song “I Dreamed a Dream,” adds, “Not only did you have to open yourself to something you’ve never done before, but you’re with a bunch of other actors who’ve never done this before, a crew that has never shot a movie like this, and a director who’s never done anything like this. Although we were all at different levels of experience within our careers, we were all at square one when it came to this.

ANNE HATHAWAY as Fantine in "Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

ANNE HATHAWAY as Fantine in “Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

“It was wonderful to have that same level of vulnerability but also to feel supported and support each other,” Hathaway continues. “I learned the song backwards and forwards and then applied the reality of the scene. The reality is that Fantine is devastated, and she’s just become a prostitute. The song is in a different place than it is in the show. In the show, it comes just after she’s been fired from the factory, so there’s still that little bit of hope. But in the movie, she’s literally at the bottom of a hole… looking up and realizing she’s never going to climb out of this. There seemed to me to be something almost selfish about trying to go for the pretty version of it. I decided to apply the truth to the melody. It was scary to bring this rawness to the song, which has been sung by some of the greatest singers who have ever lived. But I had the support of Tom, Cameron, CLAUDE-MICHEL [SCHÖNBERG] and ALAIN [BOUBLIL], so we just went for it.”

EDDIE REDMAYNE as Marius in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

EDDIE REDMAYNE as Marius in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

(Center) AARON TVEIT as Enjolras leads the student rebellion in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

(Center) AARON TVEIT as Enjolras leads the student rebellion in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

Bringing their fascinating choices and respective comedic geniuses to the roles of the bawdy innkeepers cum- professional thieves, Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, are SACHA BARON COHEN and HELENA BONHAM CARTER. The film reunites Hooper with Bonham Carter, who was nominated for her second Oscar® for her role as Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech. As well, she shared screen time with Baron Cohen as Pirelli in director Tim Burton’s movie musical Sweeney Todd.

(Center) Madame Thénardier (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) rules her inn in "Les Misérables". Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

(Center) Madame Thénardier (HELENA BONHAM CARTER) rules her inn in “Les Misérables”. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

Producer DEBRA HAYWARD offers an assessment of the impact of these characters upon the production: “Monsieur and Madame Thénardier provide much needed comic relief. With such demanding material, you have to have moments of levity, and Cameron and the creators of the original stage show knew this. ‘Master of the House’ is one of the best-loved numbers in the musical. We did not have to look further than Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen to find that perfect comic pairing. The fact that they have both got great voices was the icing on the cake.”

SAMANTHA BARKS as Éponine in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

SAMANTHA BARKS as Éponine in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

Casting for the film is by NINA GOLD, with costumes by costume designer, PACO DELGADO. The musical epic’s editors are MELANIE ANN OLIVER and CHRIS DICKENS, ACE; the production designer is EVE STEWART; the director of photography is DANNY COHEN, BSC. The music supervisor is BECKY BENTHAM, and the orchestrations are by ANNE DUDLEY, STEPHEN METCALFE. The film’s musical director is STEPHEN BROOKER. The music producers are ALAIN BOUBLIL, CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG, and ANNE DUDLEY. The film’s co-producer is BERNARD BELLEW, and the executive producers are ANGELA MORRISON, LIZA CHASIN, NICHOLAS ALLOTT, and F. RICHARD PAPPAS. The music is by CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG, and the lyrics are by HERBERT KRETZMER. The film’s screenplay is by WILLIAM NICHOLSON, ALAIN BOUBLIL, CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHÖNBERG, and HERBERT KRETZMER. LES MISÉRABLES is produced by TIM BEVAN, ERIC FELLNER, DEBRA HAYWARD, and CAMERON MACKINTOSH. The film is based on Cameron Mackintosh’s production of the original stage musical BOUBLIL AND SCHÖNBERG’S LES MISÉRABLES. The musical epic is directed by TOM HOOPER. © 2012 Universal Studios. www.lesmiserablesfilm.com

(L to R) Javert (RUSSELL CROWE) confronts Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) in "Les Misérables", the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

(L to R) Javert (RUSSELL CROWE) confronts Jean Valjean (HUGH JACKMAN) in “Les Misérables”, the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation. Photo Credit: Laurie Sparham

The IMAX release of LES MISERABLES will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of THE IMAX EXPERIENCE® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

For more information on the film and the IMAX Experience, please visit www.lesmiserablesfilm.com and www.imax.com.

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