Get Your First Look at the New ‘Les Miserables’ Cast

Lily Collins as Fantine (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)
Lily Collins as Fantine (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)

The BBC and Masterpiece recently dropped the first set of promo images for their upcoming, star-studded new adaptation of the classic Les Miserables, giving us our first look at three of the story’s iconic characters. 

Dominic West will play the heroic Jean Valjean, with David Oyelowo as his nemesis Inspector Javert, and Lily Collins as the tragic Fantine. And, for what it’s worth, this trio of actors looks pretty amazing in character.

Victor Hugo’s epic novel will become a six-part series thanks to Andrew Davies, the man responsible for such period drama successes as Mr. Selfridge, War and Peace, Little Dorrit, Bleak House and that epic Pride and Prejudice adapatation that basically gave the world Colin Firth. Davies will, apparently, be basing this particularly Les Miserables adaptation much more closely on Hugo’s text, rather than the globally popular musical version of the story.

This is a particularly interesting twist, given the differences between the novel and its more well-known stage adaptation. Hugo’s original text was so long its often sold in an abridged version these days.

“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,” Davies said in the original press release announcing the series’ cast. “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.”

West, probably best known for his roles on American cable dramas like The Affair and The Wire, will play Jean Valjean.

Dominic West as Jean Valjean  (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)
Dominic West as Jean Valjean  (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)

The Last Tycoon star Collins will play the tragic Fantine.

Lily Collins as Fantine (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)
Lily Collins as Fantine (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)

Oyelowo will play Inspector Javert.

David Oyelowo as Javert (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)
David Oyelowo as Javert (Photo: Robert Viglasky/Lookout Point for BBC One and MASTERPIECE)

Other members of this all-star ensemble will include The Durrells in Corfu’s Josh O’Connor, Raised By Wolves’ Erin Kellyman, The Big Sick’s Adeel Akhtar, Broadchurch (and soon-to-be The Crown’s) Olivia Colman, among others.

There’s no firm date yet for a Les Miserables broadcast on either side of the pond, although both UK and US airdates will occur at some point in 2019.

What do you think of the idea behind this new Les Miserables? Let’s discuss in the comments.