Calling all fans of Les Miserables! The BBC has finally unveiled a first look at its anticipated small-screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic novel, which is set to arrive on our televisions some time in 2019.
Among the all-star cast are Lily Collins as Fantine, The Affair’s Dominic West as the book’s hero Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo as his nemesis Inspector Javert, but before you start warming up your vocal chords with a rousing rendition of One Day More, we should reiterate that this is an adaptation of the book itself, so there’ll be no singing the songs of angry men. Whether you see that as a good or bad thing will doubtless depend on your views of Tom Hooper’s divisive 2013 movie musical (which brought us the sublime – Anne Hathaway as Fantine - and the ridiculous - Russell Crowe as Javert, anyone?)
Also on board for the BBC’s six part drama are a handful of cast members from The Crown’s third season. Olivia Colman, our new Queen Elizabeth, will play the villainous Madame Thernardier (coincidentally, that’s the role that was taken by Olivia’s The Crown on-screen sister Helena Bonham Carter in the 2013 musical adaptation); Josh O’Connor, rumoured to have signed up to play a young Prince Charles, will be Marius Pontmercy, and Erin Doherty, who has been cast as Princess Anne, will take a small role as Fabienne.
The adaptation has a script by Andrew Davies, who is best known for his 1996 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and also wrote the channel’s sweeping 2016 War and Peace mini-series.
Filmed in Belgium and Northern France, the BBC have promised 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.’
Check out the best period dramas that Netflix has to offer in the gallery below...
Netflix's deep-dive into the personal conflicts, political intrigues and public controversies of Queen Elizabeth II's reign is the streaming service's most expensive original drama to date. Luckily, every penny of The Crown's rumoured £100 million budget appears to have paid off. Claire Foy gives a brilliant, sympathetic performance as Elizabeth, nailing the plummy vowels and poise of the monarch without descending into caricature - but it's Vanessa Kirby's Princess Margaret (and her controversial romance with a divorcé) that will have you gripped.