Dominic West and David Oyelowo have been cast in BBC One’s upcoming adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic, Les Misérables.
West (The Affair, Tomb Raider, Appropriate Adult) will star as Jean Valjean, and Oyelowo (Selma, Gringo, Spooks) as Javert.
Both will also serve as Executive Producers for the series which is being adapted by multi award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies and produced by Lookout Point and BBC Studios for BBC One and Masterpiece.
The cast also includes Lily Collins in the role of Fantine, Adeel Akhtara and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, Ellie Bamber as Cosette, Josh O’Connor as Marius and Erin Kellyman as Éponine.
The producers say Davies “will go back to the original novel and delve deep into the many layers of Hugo’s story, revelling in Jean Valjean and Javert’s cat-and-mouse relationship, against the epic backdrop of France at a time of civil unrest.”
Davies said: “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.
“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.”
Dominic West said: “Jean Valjean is one of the great characters in world literature.
“His epic journey of redemption is one of the extraordinary roles an actor can take on, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to bringing Andrew’s brilliant adaptation to the screen.”
David Oyelowo said: “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.”
They are joined in the epic new event drama by Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, Tolkien, Love, Rosie), in the role of Fantine.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “This impressive line-up of world-class actors clearly signals the huge ambition behind the retelling of this epic masterpiece for BBC One.”