From "bloody well right" to "sacré bleu": That's the trajectory for Tom Hooper, the Oscar -winning director of the Oscar-winning 'The King's Speech,' who is now seriously in talks with Universal to direct their big-screen adaptation of the musical 'Les Miserables.'

The project is being put together by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner along with Cameron Mackintosh, who produced the perennial stage hit that opened in London in 1985. The film may begin production before year's end in Europe. William Nicholson ('Elizabeth: The Golden Age,' 'Gladiator') wrote the script.

According to Deadline, Hooper was being courted for a number of projects, including The Weinstein Co.'s 'Tulip Fever' as well as an adaptation of 'Macbeth,' but he's very close to choosing 'Mis' - which should attract some top talent -- as his next outing.

Based on the 1862 Victor Hugo novel, the story follows ex-con Jean Valjean as he tries to outrun his relentless pursuer Javert.

There have been some dozen or so big-screen versions of 'Les Miserables'; the last was a disappointing 1998 opus with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical