The BBC is gearing up to shoot a TV version of Les Miserables, with the new adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel slated to start filming next year. There have been numerous takes on Hugo’s 1862 novel in the years since its first publication, most famous of them being the stage musical and the Hollywood film based on it.
The Les Miserables movie, released in 2012, was a star-studded affair. As well as having the hit songs from the stage musical to bolster its promotional campaign, Tom Hooper’s film also had the famous faces of Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe and Sacha Baron Cohen. You could argue that it was the definitive live-action rendering of Les Miserables’ tale of poverty, criminality and redemption, but it sounds like the BBC would beg to differ.
Industry website The Knowledge reports that the BBC has scheduled its shooting dates for early next year, with the most of the filming set to take place in Belgium. A short stint will occur in northern France. Welsh writer Andrew Davies - who has House of Cards and Bridget Jones’s Diary on his resumé - is leading the project. It would seem that he has written his own adaptation of Hugo’s novel, rather than reworking the musical or the movie’s scripts.
It remains to be seen how modern audiences will take to a Les Miserables adaptation that doesn’t feature those iconic songs that appeared in both the stage show and the major motion picture that cashed in on its success. The only other details revealed at this stage are that Davies’ fresh take on Hugo’s novel will be released in six hour-long episodes and that Bethan Jones, Faith Penhale and Simon Vaughan will serve as executive producers alongside Davies.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that a Les Miserables TV show has been mentioned in modern times. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas sold a modern-day primetime soap adaptation to Fox back in 2013, but that project ultimately never made it off the ground. Davies’ take will keep the action in the past, with the period buildings of Belgium being one reason that the production is heading there. It’ll be interesting to see how the project plays out, and whether or not it gets an American airing.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all the latest Les Miserables news.
Source: The Knowledge