Recently, we found out that Sacha Baron Cohen is slated to play Monsieur Thénardier in The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s upcoming film adaptation of popular Broadway musical Les Misérables. Now, we love Sacha Baron Cohen as much as the next guy, and we know he can sing, but we can’t help but think he’s altogether too goofy for the role. Other than Cohen, so far Eddie Redmayne is signed on for Marius, Anne Hathaway for Fantine, Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert — all adding up to a group that we have mixed feelings about at best. To soothe our souls, we decided to put together a dream cast for the Les Misérables movie, and just for fun, we’ve decided to pick only from proper singers, and just resolve to hope that they can act. Click through to see our picks for Cosette, Javert, Fantine and the rest, and let us know which musicians you’d love to see in the classic roles in the comments.
Mme Thénardier — Beth Ditto
We think the playful, show-stopping frontwoman of the Gossip would be perfect to play Mme Thénardier, the back-talking hotelier’s wife who basically runs the show. She may not be the nicest character in the world, but if anyone could make us like her, it’s Ditto.
Monsieur Thénardier — Iggy Pop
Who better to play the scraggly, sleazy counterpoint to Mme Thénardier? Not only do we think they would make a good pair, but we think Iggy Pop would bring a deliciously evil edge to the character.
Fantine — Adele
No one can bring us to tears quite as easily as Adele, so we think she’d be perfect for the musical’s ultimate tragic heroine, the ill-fated, good-hearted, sacrificial lamb Fantine.
Cosette — Duffy
We always think of Cosette as a wisp of a thing, paling in comparison to the rough-and-tumble Eponine. We’d rather she be a stronger character, so we’re casting the sweet but still solid Duffy to play the ingenue.
Marius — Jens Lekman
Marius is as close to a prototypical hipster as this musical gets — a student revolutionary who can’t decide whether to follow his heart or his principles. The only thing is, he’s never heard of irony in his life, so we think the sweet-voiced, winking Jens Lekman could be true to the character but give him a little edge.
Eponine — Rihanna
Yes, we’re ignoring the problem of how Beth Ditto and Iggy Pop could make a daughter that looked like Rihanna, okay? It’s the movies. Rihanna is kind of our dream Eponine, a tough street kid on the outside, but a soft, yearning young girl on the inside, dreaming of her way out.
Javert — Nick Cave
We’ve heard enough of Nick Cave to want desperately to hear him sing Javert’s part of “The Confrontation,” and see him wrestle with his own morality in the face of what he deems the black and white plane of justice — plus, doesn’t he kind of strike you as a man that could have been born inside a jail?
Jean Valjean — Bruce Springsteen
After all, Springsteen is the ultimate blue-collar man of the people, just like Valjean, who raised himself from nothing to become the hero of the musical and the indisputable paragon of virtue. Plus, can’t you just see the Boss ripping open his shirt and screaming, “24601”? We can. So much.