David Oyelowo, Lily Collins & Dominic West To Lead BBC's 'Les Misérables'

David Oyelowo, Lily Collins & Dominic West To Lead BBC's 'Les Misérables'

Hugo's tome, set in Paris in the years leading up to the failed revolution of 1832, is best known to modern audiences as a stage musical, which opened in London in 1985 and has played continuously in the West End ever since. David Oyelowo of "Selma" will play Javert.

Collins will star as Fantine, a woman who has sacrificed everything for her young daughter Cosette (Ellie Bamber).

"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", said Davies.

The movie musical followed the 1998 big screen adaptation, starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman.

West said: 'Jean Valjean is one of the great characters in world literature.

Black actors have been cast in the role before, with Norm Lewis becoming the first African American to be cast in a professional English production of Hugo's novel in 2006. West will play Jean Valjean, a French criminal convicted of stealing a loaf of bread and sentenced to jail.

Since then, Cornell John and Joe Morton have also taken up the part.

The BBC reports that filming will begin in February in Belgium and France. Lily Collins has also boarded as Fantine with Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier.

Davies exec produces with Faith Penhale for Lookout Point, Bethan Jones for BBC Studios, Mona Qureshi for BBC One and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.

Yet in the Oscar-winning 2012 film, the part was played by Russell Crowe, and in the 1998 film the part was played by Geoffrey Rush. Miss Hathaway's emotional portrayal of Fantine also won critical acclaim.

Meanwhile, the 1998 version starred Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Claire Danes.

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