The BBC has announced the cast of its new Les Misérables mini-series.
The creative team behind 2016’s acclaimed War and Peace adaptation is bringing Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic to life for BBC Studios as a co-production for BBC One and Masterpiece.
Filming began on six 60-minute episodes in Belgium and Northern France earlier this year, with award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Mr Selfridge) writing the scripts and Tom Shankland (Ripper Street) directing.
Dominic West (The Affair, The Hour) will star as Jean Valjean, alongside David Oyelowo (Selma, Spooks) as Javert.
West commented: “Jean Valjean is one of the great characters in world literature. His epic journey of redemption is one of the extraordinary roles an actor can take on, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to bringing Andrew’s brilliant adaptation to the screen.”
Oyelowo added: “To play an iconic role like Javert is any actor’s dream, but to play it as written by Andrew Davies goes beyond my wildest dreams.”
They’ll be joined by Lily Collins (Tolkien), playing Fantine.
She said: “I’m so thrilled to be playing Fantine. She is a legendary character whose tragic story feels as relevant to tell today as when Les Misérables was first published. Andrew’s wonderful dramatisation opens up the character in fresh ways that I’ve never seen before in previous adaptations. And with this amazing cast coming together it really feels like it could be something very special indeed.”
First published in 1862, the novel tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former convict unable to escape the shadow of his past life, and his relentless pursuit by the chilling police officer Javert.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, commented: “This impressive line-up of world-class actors clearly signals the huge ambition behind the retelling of this epic masterpiece for BBC One.”
Unlike 2012’s movie adaptation of Les Misérables, starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, the BBC’s interpretation will not be based on the 1980 musical.
Les Misérables is expected to air on BBC One in the UK and on Masterpiece on PBS in the US in late 2018 or early 2019.