BBC’s six-hour ‘Les Misérables’ adaptation will ‘delve deep’ into Victor Hugo’s original novel

The BBC’s new Les Misérables mini-series will “vividly and faithfully” adapt the book.

With scripts written by Andrew Davies (Pride and PrejudiceMr Selfridge), the upcoming TV adaptation began filming in Belgium and Northern France earlier this year.

The all-star cast is led by Dominic West (The Affair, The Hour) as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo (Selma, Spooks) as Javert and Lily Collins (Tolkien) as Fantine.

First published in 1862, Victor Hugo’s 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.

Les Misérables was most recently brought to screen in the 2012 movie adaptation of the 1980 musical, starring Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Russell Crowe and Anna Hathaway.

The BBC says its six 60-minute episodes will “go back to the original novel and delve deep into the many layers of Hugo’s story, revelling in Jean Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship, against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.”

The series will “vividly and 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.”

The cast also includes Josh O’Connor (The Durrells) as Marius, Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals) as Cosette, and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves) as Éponine, with Adeel Akhtar (Victoria & Abdul) and Olivia Colman (The Crown) playing Monsieur and Madame Thénardier.

Screenwriter Andrew Davies commented: “This is such an intense and gut-wrenching story and I am delighted that this esteemed ensemble of actors will be bringing it to life – led by Dominic West and David Oyelowo in the iconic roles of Jean Valjean and his nemesis Javert.

“In Valjean, we see the terrifying anger and resentment against society but also the tenderness that is hidden deep in his complex psyche. And in Javert, the ferocious dedication to duty that takes him from obsession to madness.”

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.