Tag Archives: Victor Hugo

FremantleMedia and Roland Joffe Team on Hunchback of Notre Dame TV Series

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The iconic Victor Hugo novel, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is becoming a television series thanks to FremantleMedia and the Oscar-nominated film director and writer, Roland Joffé. The series will be called “Ugly” and will be played out against the political economic and social explosion of early 17th Century France, the series follows the life of Ugly, the physically impaired hero of the piece and features a cast of extraordinary characters.

In 1695 in the chateau of the Comte de Chateaupers a baby is born. Joy at the baby’s birth is quickly extinguished as it is discovered that the baby boy is deformed. At first sight, his grandmother hurriedly brings a pillow to spare the child from a life of pain and despair, but something in the child’s eyes stops her. Hours later a troupe of travelling actors discover a basket and within lies the newborn baby of surpassing ugliness. Meanwhile, the intemperate Comte de Chateaupers is presented with an heir, never knowing that the child has been hastily bought from a poor woman of the village. The series embarks on a heart-felt journey and shows what it means to be human regardless of your outward appearance. To wrestle with greed, insecurity and fear, to discover the force of compassion, the pain and power of love and the finding of beauty where it is least expected.

Joffé said,

“It’s a cruel conundrum that beauty – much as it is desirable and desired – may be a prison both for those who have it and those who want it. At one level we all think we know what beauty is, but there are as many different kinds of beauty as there are varieties of love. Though physical beauty may encourage the continued expansion of the population at large, it may only be inner beauty that guarantees it’s continued and continuing existence. In our story, Ugly is beautiful and much of what passes for beauty is ugly. Such is life, and life and love, cruelty and compassion, morals and money, are the subjects of our story.”

Sarah Doole, Director of Global drama, FremantleMedia added,

“FremantleMedia International are beyond excited about the opportunity to work with the extraordinarily talented Roland Joffé. ‘Ugly’ is truly captivating and exactly the type of project that we have been seeking in our efforts to grow our creation of high end scripted dramas. We are looking forward to discussing the project with the broadcasters at MIPTV.”

There is currently no word on when the series will premiere or who will be cast in the lead roles.

First Trailer For Les Miserables Adaptation Released

Have you been yearning to see Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in the new adaptation on Les Miserables? Probably not, but it is still pretty cool. Universal Pictures recently debuted the first trailer for the Tom Hooper directed project which you can see below.

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and that globally renowned stage show, the story of  Jean Valjean has been seen by more than 60 million people in over 40 countries while being presented in over 20 languages.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, the film tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption–a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. It begins in 1815 and culminates in 1832 during the June Rebellion.

Les Miserables was published in 1862 by Hugo and has remained widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The novel and story are considered a “historical fiction” because it contains both a real setting and factual/historical events while containing fictional aspects.

You can see the brand new trailer below:

The cast of the upcoming adaptation is pretty lengthy with more than several main and supporting cast members. It includes:

  • Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, a Frenchman released from Toulon prison after 19 years of imprisonment for stealing bread and failed attempts for escaping from the prison.
  • Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert, a police inspector who releases Valjean on parole, then later dedicates his life to imprisoning him again.
  • Anne Hathaway as Fantine, a struggling factory worker and mother of her illegitimate child, Cosette. She is eventually forced to turn to prostitution.
  • Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine who has grown into a beautiful teenager under Valjean’s care and falls in love with Marius.
    • Isabelle Allen plays the younger version of Cosette.
  • Eddie Redmayne as Marius Pontmercy, a student revolutionary who is friends with the Thenardiers’ daughter, Éponine, but falls in love with Cosette.
  • Samantha Barks as Éponine, the destitute daughter of the Thénardiers who is friends with and secretly pines for Marius
  • Sacha Baron Cohen as Thénardier, a common thief who is also an innkeeper. He is also the father of Éponine.
  • Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier, the unscrupulous Innkeeper’s wife who, along with her husband, houses and abuses Cosette until Valjean “buys” her from them after Fantine’s death. She is also the mother of Éponine.
  • Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, the leader of a student revolt and a friend of Marius.
  • Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche, a streetwise urchin who helps the revolutionaries. He is the abandoned son of the Thénardiers.
The supporting cast includes Colm Wilkinson, Frances Ruffelle, George Blagden, Killian Donnelly, Fra Fee as Courfeyrac, Alistair Brammer, Gabriel Vick, Bertie Carvel, Iwan Lewis, Adam Pearce, Marc Pickering, Michael Jibson, Hadley Fraser, Ashley Artus, Lynne Wilmot, Kelly-Anne Gower, Julia Worsley, Jonny Purchase, John Barr, Nikica Markot, Emmy Misheva, Ryan Laskey, Stevee Davies, Jos Slovick, Mary Cormack, Linzi Hateley, Sara Pelosi, Alice Fearn, Alison Tennant,Josef Altin, Caroline Sheen, Gemma Wardle, Katy Secombe, Gina Beck, Adebaya Bolaji, Alexia Khadime, Hannah Waddingham, Daniel Evans, Katie Hall, Adam Searles, Nancy Sullivan, Tabitha Webb, Jacqui Dankworth, Clare Foster, Adrian Scarborough, Kerry Ellis, Alison Jiear,Mark Donovan, Robyn North, Matt Harrop, Jackie Marks, Alea Young, Sophie Hutchinson, Matthew Corner, Lily Laight, Olivia Rose Aaron, Victoria Melanie Ryan, Kerry Ingram, Jamie Muscato, Mike Johnson, Jason Rowley and Andy Coxon.