Samantha Barks, who played the role in London prods, joins Uni pic

After a long search for the right femme to play Eponine in its “Les Miserables” adaptation, Universal has tapped Samantha Barks, who had previously played the role in a 2010 London stage production of the Victor Hugo classic.

Pic already stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. “The King’s Speech” helmer Tom Hooper will direct.

Hooper and Universal had put out a wide search for their Eponine, at one point considering Taylor Swift and Lea Michelle. But they settled on Barks, who played the song-belting street urchin in the 2010 London production of “Les Miz,” and reprised the role last year in the show’s 25th anniversary concert at the O2 Arena.

William Nicholson Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg adapted the Hugo novel for the bigscreen, where it bows Dec. 7.

Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce for Working Title alongside Cameron Mackintosh and Debra Hayward.

Barks is repped by United Agents in the U.K.

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