The BBC's Titular ‘Les Misérables’ Will Be Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins

Illustration for article titled The BBC's Titular ‘Les Misérables’ Will Be Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins

Victor Hugo’s sprawling novel Les Misérables is getting another adaptation—this time not as a big-budget musical, but rather a BBC miniseries that will broaden my costume drama choices because honestly, I can only watch so much Bleak House and don’t even get me started on the number of times I’ve seen North and South.


Variety reports that the leads will be Dominic West as the hunted Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as the relentless Inspector Javert, and Lily Collins as the tragic Fantine. According to Deadline, writer Andrew Davies (who has also adapted War and Peace, so he’s really making his way through the great doorstops here) will be working “from the original novel — rather than the musical — delving deep into the many layers of Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship, and set against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.” There is also famously loads of information about the Parisian sewers and how to improve them.

Les Mis: The Musical!

Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman will be Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, while Ellie Bamber will be Cosette, Josh O’Connor will be Marius, and Erin Kellyman will be Éponine. Weinstein TV was originally involved as a co-producer and distributor in the US and China, but got kicked to the curb over the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Shooting begins in February.

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Curious Squid

I’m okay with all of this casting.

I hope they include the bit where SPOILER ALERT FOR A 156 YEAR OLD NOVEL Fauchelevant tries to sneak Valjean into the convent in a coffin but the plan goes wrong and Valjean gets accidentally buried alive.

Edit: and the bit where the Thenardier gang kidnap Valjean and try to get him to write a letter telling Cosette to go to some place so they can hold her to ransom (I think, it’s been a while) and Thenardier threatens Valjean with a heated iron bar and Valjean is all “LOL you think you can make me write whatever shit you want by threatening to burn me?” and grabs the bar off him and burns his own arm with it and the gang are all OMGWTF and then Javert and the police come bursting in to save the day (because Marius who has fallen in love with Cosette at this point but not directly interacted with her yet realised via Eponine that her dad’s gang were going to do something terrible to Cosette and her dad and went to the police station for help and OF COURSE it was Javert on the desk) and arrest everyone but Valjean escapes out a window or something.

Like seriously there are so many amazing wtf moments in the book that don’t usually make it into adaptations.