BBC One announces esteemed ensemble cast for epic new event drama Les Misérables
This is such an intense and gut-wrenching story and I am delighted that this esteemed ensemble of actors will be bringing it to lifeAndrew Davies
Dominic West (The Affair, Tomb Raider, Appropriate Adult) will star as Jean Valjean, and David Oyelowo (Selma, Gringo, Spooks) as Javert, in BBC One’s landmark drama adaptation of Les Misérables. Both additionally take up roles as Executive Producers.
Dominic West says: “Jean Valjean is one of the great characters in world literature. His epic journey of redemption is one of the extraordinary roles an actor can take on, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to bringing Andrew’s brilliant adaptation to the screen.”
David Oyelowo says: "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."
They are joined in the epic new event drama by Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, Tolkien, Love, Rosie), in the role of Fantine.
Lily Collins says: “I’m so thrilled to be playing Fantine. She is a legendary character whose tragic story feels as relevant to tell today as when Les Misérables was first published. Andrew’s wonderful dramatisation opens up the character in fresh ways that I’ve never seen before in previous adaptations. And with this amazing cast coming together it really feels like it could be something very special indeed."
The distinguished British cast also includes Adeel Akhtar (The Night Manager, Murdered By My Father, Utopia) and Olivia Colman (Murder On The Orient Express,The Night Manager, Broadchurch) as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms) as Cosette, Josh O’Connor (The Durrells, God’s Own Country, Ripper Street) as Marius and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves, Uncle, The Coopers Vs The Rest) as Éponine.
Multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies will go back to the original novel and delve deep into the many layers of Hugo's story, revelling in Jean Valjean and Javert's cat-and-mouse relationship, against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest. With a striking intensity and relevance to us today, the novel is testimony to the struggles of France's underclass and how far they must go to survive. The six part television adaptation of the renowned book will vividly and 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.
Andrew Davies says: “This is such an intense and gut-wrenching story and I am delighted that this esteemed ensemble of actors will be bringing it to life - led by Dominic West and David Oyelowo in the iconic roles of Jean Valjean and his nemesis Javert. In Valjean, we see the terrifying anger and resentment against society but also the tenderness that is hidden deep in his complex psyche. And in Javert, the ferocious dedication to duty that takes him from obsession to madness.”
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, says: “This impressive line-up of world-class actors clearly signals the huge ambition behind the retelling of this epic masterpiece for BBC One.”
Executive Producers will be Andrew Davies, Faith Penhale for Lookout Point, Bethan Jones for BBC Studios, Mona Qureshi for BBC One, Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece, Dominic West and David Oyelowo. The 6x60’ series will be produced by Chris Carey and directed by Tom Shankland. The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.
It will be globally distributed outside the US by BBC Worldwide. Filming will begin in February 2018 in Belgium and Northern France.