Via Variety, it has been announced that a new upcoming Les Miserables mini-series, from the BBC and Masterpiece, has been produced for a more modern-day audience.
The 150-year-old Victor Hugo work, has received a major makeover from the production team, who has decided to take out its infamous musical elements and instead have embraced a more ethnically diverse cast with a wide array of British accents.
This is a very admirable decision for the network to make, considering the recent criticism they received from being more racial inclusive in their other series. For the period epic, Troy: Fall of a City, several right-wing press and commentators were irked by the inclusion of other races, while similar sourpusses proceeded to criticize the new season of Doctor Who, deeming too “politically correct.”
However during production, sereis’ creatives still strived to maintain the original’ s French sensibilities. “The extras in the background are all speaking French….All signage and art direction is very French,” director Tom Shankland said. “It’s something Andrew picked up on in the rushes.
Whenever you had Brits barking away in the background, it felt a bit distracting, so we started to weave in lots and lots of French in the background in a way as a bit of music, a bit of context.”
For many of Andrew Davies’ cast and crew, the new adaptation’s inclusion of actors’ with different backgrounds and training, will help provide an assortment of new and fresh performances for the usually conventional work.
“Our director Tom Shankland wanted to bring the story right into the 21st century and to make the power of the story resonate for audiences today,” BBC director general Tony Hall said at a premiere event for the series at BAFTA’s London headquarters.
“We live in a society that looks like this,” British star David Oyelowo (Selma) added, referring to the diverse cast. “To make a 150 year-old novel feel like it’s relevant to everyone here you want to see yourself in it.”
Oyelowo is set to play the relentless Inspector Javert, while Dominic West has been cast as wrongfully convicted ex-con Jean Valjean. Lily Collins will play the ill-fated Fantine.
The updated French classic is produced by Lookout Point and BBC Studios, and was filmed in Belgium and France. It will premiere on the sister channel, BBC One this Dec. 30th.
Below the trailer can be viewed: