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Sacha Baron Cohen In Talks to Play Villainous Thenardier in 'Les Miserables'

December 9, 2011, 3:28 am GMT

The 'Borat' actor is in negotiations to play the main villain, who is also the ill-mannered father of Eponine and Azelma, in the Tom Hooper-directed musical.

Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen is close to land a role in Tom Hooper's high-profile film "Les Miserables". According to The Sun, the "Borat" actor is in talks to tackle the main villain in the big screen adaptation of the famous play.

Baron Cohen is expected to star as Monsieur Thenardier, who is described as the father of Eponine and Azelma. Along with his wife, he spoils and pampers them as children, before they leave them on the streets.

Thenardier is played by comedian Matt Lucas on the stage in London. Giving his support to Baron Cohen, Lucas tweeted on Thursday, December 8, "Sacha will be amazing in the Les Mis movie. He's the funniest man in the world and a good friend. Am excited to see his Thenardier."

"Les Miserables" has already tapped Anne Hathaway to play female lead Fantine, Hugh Jackman to star as leading man Jean Valjean, and Russell Crowe to portray police inspector Javert.

Eddie Redmayne and Geoffrey Rush are additionally cast in the movie, with Taylor Swift, Lea Michele, Scarlett Johansson and Evan Rachel Wood reportedly in the running to play Eponine.

Written by William Nicholson, "Les Miserables" centers on the struggle by ex-con Valjean to outrun his past and his relentless pursuer Javert. The original play was opened in London back in 1985. It featured popular songs like "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Bring Him Home". The movie is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on December 7, 2012, just in time for next year's Oscar race.

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