Eponine is one of the most popular characters in Les Miserables (the musical). She's tough and tragic and has possibly the best song in the whole show, On My Own. It's one of THE standards from the show, and it has that kind of super-bittersweet romanticism fans of the musical eat up by the cupful. Casting her in the movie version is a big deal; there are three female leads in the movie, but Eponine will probably be the breakout character.
According to the New York Post director Tom Hooper has four actresses in his sights; while I don't usually like list stories I find this one intriguing because it truly shows how hard it is to make a musical these days. See, of the four actresses he's looking at, two of them can definitely sing. But of those two only one has real serious acting experience. Those two are Lea Michelle of Glee fame, who can sing and act, and Taylor Swift, who can sing and who has done some - very little - acting.
The other two he's looking at have sung as well, but not at exactly the same level. Evan Rachel Wood starred in Across the Universe, where she crooned Beatles songs in a serviceable but hugely unremarkable way. And then there's Scarlett Johansson, who has an album or two that she only got released because she's a famous actress. I mean, if you were doing karaoke with her you would think Scarlett was pretty a-ok, but if we're talking about On My Fucking Own...
Michele actually did On My Own on the first season of Glee. Here's what it sounded like: