Victor Hugo’s classic 19th-century novel Les Misérables is getting a new adaptation, on TV this time. Unlike the 2012 film, this six-part TV series will not be based on the musical. Lily Collins (Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Okja) plays the role of Fantine, Dominic West (The Wire, The Awakening) is Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo (Selma, Lincoln) stars as Javert.
Andrew Davies has written the screenplay and Tom Shankland is directing the series. Olivia Colman, who was confirmed to take on the titular role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s period drama The Crown and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals) and Erin Kellyman (Raised by Wolves) also star.
According to Variety, the series is going to explore Huge’s celebrated novel more deeply than the 2012 film adaptation. The focus is going to be the relationship between Jean Valjean and Javert. The backdrop is the French civil unrest. The synopsis says that the series will “faithfully bring to life the vibrant and engaging characters, the spectacular and authentic imagery and, above all, the incredible yet accessible story that was Hugo’s lifework”.
Although Les Misérables is one of the most lauded works of French literature, most people are familiar only with the musical, which is world’s longest running musical, this being its 33rd year (it began in 1985). The Tom Hooper-directed 2012 musical feature film that had a star cast with names like Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried and Helena Bonham Carter was successful both commercially and critically.
It had grossed 441.8 million dollars worldwide and holds a 69% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It also received three Academy awards out of eight nominations, including an Oscar for Anne Hathaway in Best Supporting Actress category. It also got three Golden Globes and four BAFTA awards.
BBC’s Les Misérables, which was shot in Belgium and France, will begin airing next year.