One of the most celebrated musicals of the decade is 2012’s Les Miserables, an adaptation of the massively successful stage production featuring an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and many others. It was quite an awards magnet, too, achieving a whopping eight nominations at the Oscars that year and earning Hathaway a Best Supporting Actress gong. Not bad, eh?
With that in mind, you’d think that no one would attempt to top this surely definitive version of the story so soon, but you’d be wrong. As was revealed not too long ago, the BBC is now working on a new TV series based on the original 19th century novel written by Victor Hugo. Screenwriter Andrew Davies – whose past credits include House of Cards and Bridget Jones’ Diary (so he’s clearly versatile) – is set to adapt the book, and the cast has finally begun to take shape.
Deadline is telling us tonight that the producers have brought on “Dominic West to play Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo as Javert. Lily Collins has also boarded as Fantine, with Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier.” Not only that, but the outlet notes that “Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals) will play Cosette, Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) is set to portray Marius and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves) will step into the shoes of Eponine.”
Filming is due to take place in Belgium, which should give the production an air of authenticity as the story is set in Revolutionary France, and the series will be made up of six hour-long episodes. We don’t have any word on a release date or whether it’ll be picked up for broadcast in the US just yet, but it’s still very early days and we’ll no doubt learn more as it further develops.
As modern audiences are mostly familiar with Les Mis through the movie or the stage musical, it’ll be interesting to see whether a straight adaptation of the original novel will stir people in quite the same way. It’s worth remembering that the BBC have always had great success with their period dramas, a genre that also typically travels well to overseas markets, so hopefully this will turn out to be another big win for them.
We’ll be sure to bring you more news on the Les Miserables TV series as and when we have it, so stay tuned.