Regal Cinemas unveiled a behind-the-scenes first look of Les Miserables on the film's official Facebook page today, and honestly, speaking as a huge fan of the original stage musical...it was hard not to shriek like a tween at a Justin Beiber concert over just how awesome the new footage is. Wow.
The feature showcases how the singing for the musical was performed live on the set while they were shooting, instead of lip-synching to a pre-recorded track, which is how most movie musicals are done. While it seems like a tricky feat to pull off - not to mention how taxing multiple takes had to be on actors' voices - it looks incredible. Les Mis isn't a song-and-dance musical, so the live singing, from what we've seen so far, definitely brings a realness that the story needs to work on film.
Here's the behind-the-scenes feature. Fans will recognize the songs "Valjean's Soliloquy", "On My Own", "In My Life", and "A Heart Full of Love", as well as some memorable moments (a little fall of rain, anyone?) and characters from the show:
Again...wow. Just those few seconds of Samantha Barks singing "On My Own" made me even more grateful that the whole Taylor Swift casting rumor never materialized. Barks is actually the only member of the main Les Mis movie cast who previously played her role in the stage version. Anne Hathaway's role of Fantine was once played by Hathaway's mother in the US national tour. Hathaway reportedly wore her mom's cast jacket to the set on the first day of filming.
There was some griping on the interwebs that we didn't get to hear any of Russell Crowe's singing in the feature, suggesting that his 'possibly inferior' vocals were being hidden away. I say settle down. Keep in mind, we also didn't hear anything from Aaron Tveit - a Broadway veteran with a fantastic voice - who's playing Enjolras, nor did we hear anything from Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thernardiers, who we've heard sing together in Sweeney Todd. A second trailer is on the horizon, and I'm sure we'll hear from them soon enough, and they will sound wonderful.
Les Miserables is opening in theaters on Christmas Day.