Les Miserables’ Lyricist Alain Boublil: The Movie Almost Didn’t Happen

Alain Boublil, Les Miserables

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Alain Boublil, Les Miserables

Cameron Mackintosh, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg of Les Miserables

Les Misérables is generating major Oscar buzz right now, but the movie almost didn’t happen.

Les Miz lyricist Alain Boublil  told me at a private party for the film that for 25 years he dreamed  that the musical would be made into a movie, “because I’m very much a movie buff as well as a theater person,” he said.

“It didn’t happen several times. There were some missed hopes that it would happen in the past with [directors] Alan Parker, Bruce Beresford, Oliver Stone, if I remember. We had long discussions.”

The lyricist added, “I’m very thrilled with Tom Hooper, because he’s exactly the right person. He’s both an intellectual and a man of spectacle, and this is what Claude-Michel, my partner and I, think we are, too, so that is the exact combination.”

Not only did a myriad number of names come up as possible directors, but Cameron Mackintosh told me that many big stars auditioned for the lead roles. Director Tom Hooper told me Hugh Jackman auditioned for him and a musical director for thee hours.

Read Jane Boursaw’s review of Les Miserables.

Paula Schwartz

About Paula Schwartz

Paula Schwartz is a veteran journalist based in New York who is passionate about the movies. Her idea of heaven is watching three movies in a row. She’s written for various outlets, including the New York Times, Showbiz411.com, More.com and MovieMaker Magazine. For five seasons, she contributed to the New York Times seasonal movie blog, Carpetbaggers, where she covered major awards events and interviewed stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Helen Mirren.

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