The plot thickens and looks like the stakes are higher for Les Mis than we realized. The film could take down an entire company:
LOS ANGELES — Early in the coming movie adaptation of “Les Misérables,” Anne Hathaway and a group of grimy factory workers sing about “another day dawning.” Will it be a better one? Or will their toiling bring “nothing for nothing”?
Working Title Films, which co-produced “Les Misérables” with Cameron Mackintosh, is confronting the same questions as it amps up an already aggressive awards campaign for the film. The all-star movie musical could pop at the multiplex, sweep into the Academy Awards and instantly recharge the company, which has had a bumpy few years. Or “Les Misérables” could end up like the 2004 adaptation of “The Phantom of the Opera” — lackluster ticket sales, a few Oscar nominations, no wins.
Working Title, based in London, was once one of Hollywood’s most reliable suppliers of classy commercial movies: “Fargo,” “Billy Elliot,” “Elizabeth,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Pride & Prejudice.” But the company, which has 53 Oscar nominations and six wins on its résumé, has lost its way in recent years. It has still delivered the occasional gem — “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” was one — but misses have far outnumbered hits.