The international smash stage musical, Les Misérables, may become a television movie musical, producer Cameron Mackintosh told Playbill On-Line.
There has been industry talk for years about a movie version of the sprawling 1985 French-written, London-produced pop opera by librettist-lyricist Alain Boublil and composer Claude-Michel Schönberg. Now, mega-producer Mackintosh says he's "in the middle of having another dicusssion."
The producer, in New York City this week for the 6,138th Broadway performance of Les Miz Jan. 25, said, "We may well make it as a film for television, that's what I'm in the discussions of at the moment."
When asked if it would be a modified version of the stage show, shot with multiple cameras documenting the original staging, he said "not at all."
"This would be done like a proper film, like any of the Dickens adaptations, 'David Copperfield,' or something like that," he explained. "As they've done with 'Annie' — a proper new version for television." Considering the multiple locations in the Victor Hugo-inspired story, set in the early part of the 19th-century, in France, a film version of the musical would seem a natural, in visual terms. A non-musical film version in 1998 starring Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean and Geoffrey Rush as Javert failed to ignite at the box office. That picture's advertising underlined that the story had been seen in a popular musical version worldwide.
A TV movie musical of Les Miz would surely be what the industry calls a television "event" and would presumbly run the three-hour length of the smash, Tony Award-winning show. On Jan. 25, Les Misérables, which opened on Broadway in 1987, becomes the second longest-running show in Broadway history.