Netflix and BBC are partnering to stage a small screen revival of Watership Down, an adaptation of Richard Adams’ cherished children’s novel that first hit book shelves in 1972.
Pitched as a four-part miniseries, both Netflix and the BBC have already enlisted a star-studded ensemble to voice many of the lead characters of Adams’ beloved tale, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens breakout John Boyega (Bigwig), James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton.
Selling north of 50 million copies since it was first published, there’s no doubting the legacy of Watership Down, and that’s something the BBC is aiming to preserve with this all-new interpretation. In light of today’s announcement, Matthew Read – Commissioning Editor at the British broadcaster – released the following statement:
“Before there was Harry Potter there was Watership Down, Richard Adams’ novel is one of the most successful books of all time and one of the biggest-selling books in history. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to bring a modern classic to a mainstream BBC One audience with such an incredible roster of actors alongside the talented team overseeing the animation. This fantastic take on the novel will unite the whole family, and bring this classic story to a new generation.”
Indeed, Watership Down has made a beeline for screens before, when Martin Rosen wrote and directed a feature film back in 1978, before going on to produce an animated series towards the end of the 90s. This time around, it is Tom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary) who will pen the script for director Noam Murro, best known for 300: Rise Of The Empire.
Expect Watership Down to premiere via BBC for those in the United Kingdom, while Netflix will host the miniseries for international viewers.
Tell us, are you looking forward to an overhaul of Adams’ adventure classic? Let us know below.