I first became enamored with the writings and spirit of Victor Hugo when I was a young boy growing up in France. Reading “Les Miserables” in its full-length original language was a year-long experience that shaped my soul and tenderized my heart for a lifetime. The research for this script on Hugo’s life began in 1982 with the help and support of my wife Rebecca. The first version of the screenplay was taken to Hollywood that year. Having read all of Hugo’s works, I find his life and his dramatic literary skills to find natural expression through cinema. It is surprising that his own personal story has not been told in the same epic way as his novels have been presented.
So this screenplay, now turned into a book with an extended preface, is truly a work of love. It was rewritten over the years several times. In the early nineties, it was presented to the actor Anthony Quinn who was interested enough to share some thoughts on it and caused me to do a complete rewrite in the telling of the story. It was clear to me all along that the role of Victor Hugo would be a powerful opportunity for a great actor at the end of his career. Having molded the script to enable a fine actor to fully engage the character, it was then presented to George C. Scott, Richard Harris, and later to Richard Kiley who responded personally and offered his views on the script and the character as it was presented. Since then, every one of those actors has passed on and the script has lingered for more than a decade.
It is now published in book form in hopes that the reader will find that, even as a screenplay, the drama of Hugo’s life jumps off the page. It is a special delight to make this work available to the interested reader after all these years of having tried to bring it to the screen. Perhaps in the reader’s own imagination, it will accomplish its purpose in expressing Hugo’s remarkable life and the flawed but profound nature of the great writer, poet, and spiritual man.
The paperback version can be found on Amazon by clicking here.