Russell Crowe

Flynet UK/FameFlynet Pictures

Inspector Javert is on the hunt.

The first set photos from Les Misérables have surfaced showing Russell Crowe as the unyielding policeman, and by the severe look on his face Hugh Jackman's escaped convict Jean Valjean doesn't stand a chance.

Shooting began in March and so far finds Crowe saddling up on horseback for the role in director Tom Hooper's big screen adaptation of the popular musical based on Victor Hugo's novel.

As Inspector Javert, of course, the 47-year-old Aussie thesp is tasked with tracking down the principled Valjean after the latter broke his parole, a mission that morphs into an obsession.

Les Misérables, which costars Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as those thieving innkeepers the Thenardiers and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, is scheduled for release on Dec. 14, 2012.

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