Published way back in 1831, Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been adapted countless times over the years and turned into a handful of feature films and stage plays. Now our old pal Quasimodo is headed for the small screen. Read on for details!
Variety reports that director Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, Captivity) has teamed up with FremantleMedia to develop a miniseries titled “Ugly,” which is based on Hugo’s iconic novel. It will be an eight-part adaptation set in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
The miniseries will begin with the birth of a boy to an aristocratic family. The boy is deformed, and his family abandons him by the roadside in a basket, where he is discovered by a troupe of traveling actors. They name him “Ugly.”
The story follows Ugly into adulthood, exploring the nature of beauty and ugliness, what it means to be human, and notions of morality.
Alongside the story of Ugly, Joffe has introduced a second story strand, that of John Law, a Scottish economist, who is put in charge of France’s finances by King Louis XV. Joffe said that the introduction of Law’s story is one of the ways he is making the story relevant to today’s audiences. Law’s great innovation is the introduction of paper money, which in turn leads to speculation. Law policies cause a financial crisis, which ruins the country.
FremantleMedia Intl. will introduce the miniseries to buyers at next month’s TV market MipTV in Cannes. Joffe hopes to move into production next year.
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