Director Tom Hooper was prepared to walk away from the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables if actor Hugh Jackman refused to sign on as his leading man.
The filmmaker recruited an all-star line-up to bring his vision to life, with Russell Crowe as police inspector Javert and Anne Hathaway as prostitute Fantine, but Hooper admits Jackman was key to the whole project - and insists there would be no movie without the Australian as Jean Valjean.
"I would not have made this film at all if Hugh Jackman did not exist - there was no second choice," he told Vogue magazine.
"The power of the man when you’re standing next to him and he’s singing those songs - it just sort of knocks you sideways."
Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are also part of the cast.