An adaptation of the adventure novel Watership Down is in the works, and so far, it sounds like Netflix and the BBC are going to be able to do it justice. The upcoming four-part animated miniseries has numerous talented actors on board, according to Deadline, including John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), the X-Men franchise’s James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3), and Gemma Arterton (Byzantium).
First published in 1972, the Richard Adams novel has long been popular among adults and children alike. The story follows a group of rabbits after the threat of destruction forces them out of their burrow. As they attempt to find a new home, their journey forces them to confront a variety of dangers, especially in the form of predators and strangers. The multi-layered book includes epic themes as the furry creatures fight to find their place in the world.
The books do have a lot of dark elements, so the creative team is taking that into account. “While we won’t shy away from the darkness in the book, visually it won’t be as brutal and scarring,” executive producer Rory Aitken of the company 42 told the U.K.’s Telegraph. “The idea is to bring it to a wider family audience. While Watership Down is never going to be for young children, it will be for the whole family to watch together.
The project is set to be written by Tom Bidwell, while Naom Murro (300: Rise of the Empire) will direct. Pete Dodd is on board as co-director, which seems like a great fit, considering that he was a key animator for Fantastic Mr. Fox. Brown Bag Films will lead the animation team.
A co-production of BBC One and Netflix, Watership Down will be available on BBC One in the U.K. and on Netflix in other parts of the world. A premiere date has not yet been announced.