Weinstein Television and the BBC are teaming up for a new version of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.” The six-part adaptation will be written by veteran scribe Andrew Davies, who most recently turned “War & Peace” into a six-part series for BBC and A&E Networks.
“Les Misérables” will be a co-production by BBC Studios and Lookout Point for BBC One in association with Weinstein TV. Weinstein TV will be the distributor in the U.S. and China.
For those who haven’t read Hugo’s nearly 1500-page tome, or seen the movie or any of the myriad stage versions, “Les Misérables” centers on French convict Jean Valjean and his struggles to escape his past while being hunted for years over a parole violation by Inspector Javert, set against the backdrop of the uprising of 1832.
That’s only part of the story, though. “Les Misérables is a huge iconic title,” Davies said in a statement. “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.”
Consequently, viewers shouldn’t be expecting for just another version of Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s musical. “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,” The Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said in a statement.
The project reunites the teams behind this spring’s “War & Peace,” which aired on BBC One in Britain and A&E Networks in the U.S.
Executive producers for “Les Misérables” will be Andrew Davies, Bethan Jones for BBC Studios, Faith Penhale and Simon Vaughan for Lookout Point and Harvey Weinstein for Weinstein Television. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Lucy Richer, Acting Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning.