One of the most celebrated musicals of the decade is 2012’s Les Miserables, an adaptation of the wildly successful stage production that boasted an all-star cast comprised of Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham-Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and many others. It earned a whopping eight nominations at the Oscars that year as well, with Hathaway going on to snag the Best Supporting Actress gong. Not bad, eh?
With that in mind, it’d be wise to assume that no one would attempt to top this surely definitive version of the story so soon, but it turns out that’s not the case. As you may’ve heard, the BBC’s now working on a new TV miniseries based on the original 19th century novel written by Victor Hugo.
A co-production between the BBC and PBS Masterpiece, it’s set to be a six-part drama and from what we understand, won’t feature any of the songs from the beloved musical version. Instead, it’ll be “delving deep into the many layers of Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship, set against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.”
Now, thanks to the trailer above, we have our first glimpse at what’s in store, and quite frankly, it all appears to be pretty impressive. Lavish production design, what seem to be strong performances and teases of a riveting story all make for a promising look at the project, and it’ll be interesting to see whether a straight adaptation of the original novel will entice folks in quite the same way as a musical.
It’s worth remembering though that the BBC have always had great success with their period dramas, a genre that also typically travels well to overseas markets. With any luck, then, Les Misérables will end up being another big win for them when it debuts next year.