One of the biggest musicals of the decade is 2012’s Les Miserables, an adaptation of the hugely 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 more. It was an awards magnet, too, achieving a whopping eight nominations at the Oscars that year and earning Hathaway a Best Supporting Actress gong.
You’d think that no one would attempt to top this surely definitive version of the story so soon then, but actually, you’d be wrong. According to industry insider The Knowledge, the BBC is 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 hunt for a cast has now begun.
Filming is due to take place in Belgium, which should lend the production an air of authenticity as the story is set in Revolutionary France, and the series will consist 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 for the project and we expect to 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 is 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.