“I Dreamed a Dream” is one of musical theater’s greatest bummers — a pathos-drenched ballad about one woman’s descent into despair that sounds equally great whether it’s desperately belted or quietly warbled. Thanks to memorable renditions by everyone from Susan Boyle to Idina Menzel and Lea Michele, it also may be the most recognizable tune from Les Miserables. (Sorry, “On My Own.”) So it’s no surprise that the minds behind the upcoming film adaptation of Les Mis: The Musical chose to score their first official trailer with star Anne Hathaway’s version of the song.
Then again, the same folks who howled with rage when Taylor Swift was in talks to play Eponine may dismiss this clip as flagrant false advertising. It seems to indicate that Hathaway’s Fantine is the film’s female lead — but those who have read the book, seen the Broadway show, or spied any of the umpteen screen versions of Les Mis know that (150-year-old spoiler alert!) Fantine kicks the bucket fairly soon, paving the way for her daughter Cosette and the scrappy Eponine to share the spotlight.
It’s a bit of a shame that we don’t get to hear Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, or Amanda Seyfried show off their pipes — but we can count on subsequent trailers to fix that problem. And in any case, this clip certainly looks good; has 19th century misery ever been quite so visually appealing?