BBC Developing 6-Part Les Miserables Mini-Series

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that BBC will partner with Lookout Point (who they aired with for the acclaimed War & Peace series) and Weinstein Television to develop a 6-part mini-series based on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.  Continue reading below for additional details.

According to Wikipedia, here’s a synopsis for the Les Miserables novel:

“Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.  Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love.”

The series will be written by Andrew Davis, who also wrote the War & Peace adaptation for BBC.  The series will be an adaptation of the novel itself and not the musical, which was most recently seen on the big screen in 2012.  Here’s what Davis had to share with THR.

Les Miserables is a huge iconic title.  Most of us are familiar with the musical version which only offers a fragmentary outline of its story. I am thrilled to have the opportunity of doing real justice to Victor Hugo at last by adapting his masterpiece in a six hour version for the BBC, with the same team who made War & Peace.”

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The following statements were added by the various producers on the series:

Nick Betts, BBC Studios said:“BBC Studios is delighted that our first drama commission with our partners Lookout Point and Weinstein Television will reunite Andrew Davies and the brilliant production team behind ‘War & Peace’ to produce a definitive version of ‘Les Misérables’ for the BBC.”

Faith Penhale, Lookout Point said: “It’s a privilege to be working with Andrew, Harvey and the BBC again to bring Hugo’s searingly relevant masterpiece, and his biggest achievement, faithfully to life for a modern audience.”

Harvey Weinstein, Weinstein Television said: “Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables’ is one of the greatest novels of all time – and while the musical is one of my favorites this will be completely different. An intense and serious drama that will find contemporary relevance to what’s going on in the world today. I’m thrilled to be reunited with Faith Penhale and Simon Vaughan, my partners from ‘War & Peace,’ with Charlotte Moore from the BBC, and of course, with Andrew Davies who wrote ‘War & Peace.’ I think the BBC and Weinstein Television collaboration are a new paradigm in the telling of classics – they’re modern and yet respectful. And, with the exception of James Bond, nobody does it better than Andrew Davies.”

I’m a big fan of Les Miserables.  I’ve seen the Broadway show twice and have seen many of the film versions, both musicals and not.  Beyond that, BBC puts out quality television (at least the limited number of programs I’ve been fortunate to watch) so that gives me the utmost confidence in this project.  I will certainly have it queued up on my DVR as soon as they provide a release date.

Are you excited about a BBC Les Miserables mini-series?  Share your thoughts below.  I will keep you posted on any additional information about this project as soon as it’s released.


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