If you missed it, there’s going to be a miniseries of Les Misérables! (Links to articles/news about this here, here, and here.) It will be a six hour show written by Andrew Davies, who wrote the 1995 miniseries of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (you know, the one that was faithful to the book, but also takes six hours to watch?). Among his other adaptations of classic literature are the 1996 version of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, the 2007 miniseries of Northanger Abbey with Felicity Jones and JJ Feild, the 2008 miniseries of Little Dorrit with Claire Foy and Matthew Macfadyen, and this year’s miniseries of War and Peace with Lily James, Paul Dano, and James Norton.
Basically, this is the perfect guy for a six hour period drama.
War and Peace and Les Misérables are both extremely long books. Their exact length honestly depends on who’s translating them from Russian and French, but the Penguin Classics editions with the paintings on the covers of the books are about the same length: War and Peace has 1440 pages, while Les Misérables has 1456 pages. If War and Peace can be done in six hours, Les Mis can too.
I’m excited. I’ve said before that there were scenes and backstories that were cut from the movies and musical. I’ve told my friends that I enjoyed the musical because its length allowed for character development that does not exist in some of the other adaptations. If you want proof, consider that in the 1998 movie with Liam Neeson, Eponine doesn’t even exist, and the story ends with the Javert and Valjean’s last meeting. In the musical, Eponine is indeed a character, and Cosette lives happily ever after. In the movie musical, Marius has a relative.
Hopefully, in the miniseries, Cosette will live part of her childhood in a convent. Marius will have a Bonapartist father. Gavroche will have siblings. Fantine will be a girl who fell in love with the wrong guy. Jean Valjean will meet a child called Petit Gervais.
The miniseries will be twice the length of the stage musical, and we’re going to get a faithful adaptation of the book. That makes me so happy.
It will probably take a little while for us to actually get to see this miniseries, but I’ll be ready with my velvet ballgown and a loaf of bread.