:”Shine” star Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman will swashbuckle with Liam Neeson in “Les Miserables” for Mandalay Entertainment, sources said Sunday.
Rush will play Javert, the indefatigable inspector who tracks Jean Valjean (Neeson) over a lifetime to bring him to justice.
The casting came as a surprise, since Mandalay had been considering a heady list of name talent for the Javert role, including Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and Anthony Hopkins.
Thurman will take on the role of Fantine, the factory worker turned prostitute.
The production, which starts lensing in April in Prague and Paris, will be shot from an original script adaptation by Rafael Yglesias (“Fearless”) of Victor Hugo’s classic novel.
Bille August (“The House of the Spirits”) is set to helm.
Fred Specktor of Creative Artists Agency brokered the deal for Rush. Bryan Lourd, also of CAA, repped Thurman.
Rush, primarily an Oz-based stage actor, has won raves for his lead performance in “Shine” as pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a nervous breakdown.
Thurman is currently shooting “Batman and Robin” for Warner Bros. She most recently appeared in “Beautiful Girls” and “The Truth About Cats and Dogs.”