We Finally Have a Premiere Date for the New Les Misérables Mini Series

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Courtesy Masterpiece PBS

From Town & Country

The new television adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic French novel won't air for a few months in the States, but we already have plenty of details about the new miniseries.

While the program has already run in the U.K., it won't air in the U.S. until later this spring.

In February, Masterpiece, PBS shared the news that Les Miserable will premiere on April 14 at 9 p.m. ET.

The first trailer has landed.

You won't have to wait "one day more" (sorry, I had to) for a Les Misérables trailer. It gives us a preview of all the major characters, and proves that Les Mis can be just as dramatic without the grand musical numbers. Watch below:

Additional footage from the show was released in a preview of the BBC's 2019 programming. (It will air on the BBC in the UK.)

Lily Collins, Olivia Colman, David Oyelowo, and Dominic West will lead the cast.

Olivia Colman (who will star in future seasons of The Crown as Queen Elizabeth) will play Madame Thénardier; Lily Collins has been cast as Fantine; and David Oyelowo and Dominic West are the iconic roles of Javert and Jean Valjean.

"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,” Oyelowo said in a statement about working with Davies.

Collins added, "I’m so thrilled to be playing Fantine. She is an iconic character, her tragic story feels as relevant to tell today as when Les Misérables was first published... And with this amazing cast coming together it really feels like it could be something very special indeed."

PBS has released images of the cast in their roles.

See below for stills of all the major actors in full period dress. Even if this six-part miniseries weren't based on such rich source material, this stacked cast would be plenty exciting in itself.

Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: Courtesy of Masterpiece PBS
Photo credit: Courtesy of Masterpiece PBS
Photo credit: Courtesy of Masterpiece PBS

It won't be a musical- and the writers are returning to the original novel for inspiration.

According to a press release, the project will use Hugo's text as its primary inspiration, as opposed to the popular musical version of the story. "The television adaptation will go back to the original novel and delve deep into the many layers of Hugo's story, reveling in Jean Valjean and Javert's cat-and-mouse relationship-against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest," reads the statement.

Lily Collins is certainly onboard with this new direction. "Andrew’s wonderful dramatization opens up the character in fresh ways that I’ve never seen before in previous adaptations," she said.

It also confirmed that Andrew Davies, who is perhaps best known for the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, will be writing the mini-series. Clearly Masterpiece is keeping Davies busy. He's also working on the upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen's final unfinished work Sanditon.

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