To love another person is to see the face of God — and to see the first photos from the new television adaptation of Les Misérables might be tantamount to a religious experience for fans of the Victor Hugo epic.
The latest adaptation of the novel is in the works from Masterpiece PBS and BBC One. The six-part event is being adapted by Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice) and turns directly to Hugo’s book for its basis, rather than the musical that inspired the most recent film adaptation of the sweeping tale of love, revolution, and redemption.
Masterpiece describes the project as “[delving] deep into the many layers of Hugo’s story, reveling in Jean Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship — against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.” The six-part series is a co-production from Lookout Point and BBC Studios, and shooting began in February.
The first photos showcase three of the project’s leads: Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply) as Fantine, David Oyelowo (Selma) as Javert, and Dominic West (The Affair) as Jean Valjean.
Cast members not showcased in the first-look images include Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals) as Cosette, Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country) as Marius, and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves) as Eponine.
Oyelowo previously said in a statement, “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.”
Collins added, “I’m so thrilled to be playing Fantine. She is an iconic character, her tragic story feels as relevant to tell today as when Les Misérables was first published. … And with this amazing cast coming together it really feels like it could be something very special indeed.”
No air date for the series has been announced.