Under normal circumstances, the BBC’s War & Peace miniseries — which aired in the U.S. somewhat surprisingly on Lifetime — would have swept the Emmys in its category. But it happened to have occurred at a time when the concept of limited series has become a celebrated art form, giving rise to excellent productions like Fargo, The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and The Night Manager. Still, War & Peace was a gorgeous, lush production with some truly stellar acting, none of which was recognized at the Emmys. The series did get one nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for its Part One but … come on!
Though the Emmys actually got a lot right this year, War & Peace’s exclusion was still a glaring oversight. But then again, who cares? If you watched War & Peace then you most likely loved it, and the good news is we’re getting another round from the same creative team. The BBC announced today that it will again be partnering with Lookout Point and Weinstein Television for a 6-part adaptation of Les Miserables.
Les Miserables has, of course, gained most of its fame in musical form, but this upcoming adaptation will take a deep dive into Victor Hugo’s novel. Andrew Davies will be handling the adaptation of Les Miserable — he also adapted War & Peace as well as all of the recent Dickens and Austen adaptations, including Bleak House, Little Dorrit, Northanger Abbey, and basically every PBS miniseries you’ve seen in the last decade.
“Les Miserables is a huge iconic title,” said Davies. “Most of us are familiar with the musical version which only offers a fragmentary outline of its story. I am thrilled to have the opportunity of doing real justice to Victor Hugo at last by adapting his masterpiece in a six hour version for the BBC, with the same team who made War & Peace.”
Harvey Weinstein also said that while the musical version of Les Mis was one of his favorites, the mini-series would be “completely different,” and an “intense and serious drama that will find contemporary relevance to what’s going on in the world today.”
Les Miserables was of course adapted to film most recently in 2012, and won Anne Hathaway an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. There’s no news yet about who might be cast in the BBC’s production, but it’s certainly something to look forward to. As mentioned above, the miniseries format will allow the story to be told more fully than on film or in a play, giving it new shading for fans. And if War & Peace (images below) is anything to go by, it will again be an incredibly beautiful and heart-wrenching work.