Airing as two feature-length episodes Christmas 2018, BBC One’s new adaptation of Watership Down uses Richard Adams’ children’s fantasy novel as its source.
Adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell and directed by Noam Murro, this tale of adventure and survival follows a band of rabbits as they flee the certain destruction of their home.
Led by stout-hearted brothers Hazel (James McAvoy) and Fiver (Nicholas Hoult), the rabbits begin their journey from Sandleford Warren, through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, towards the hope of a better life.
Watership Down features the vocal talents of:
John Boyega as Bigwig.
Olivia Colman as Strawberry.
Sir Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort.
Tom Wilkinson as Threarah.
Gemma Arterton as Clover.
Peter Capaldi as Kehaar.
Mackenzie Crook as Hawkbit.
Anne-Marie Duff as Hyzenthlay.
Taron Egerton as El-Ahrairah.
Freddie Fox as Captain Holly.
Daniel Kaluuya as Bluebell.
Miles Jupp as Blackberry.
Rory Kinnear as Cowslip.
Craig Parkinson as Sergeant Sainfoin.
Rosamund Pike as The Black Rabbit Of Inlé.
Jason Watkins as Captain Orchis.
Gemma Chan as Dewdrop.
It will feature an original song by Sam Smith. The artist was inspired by Richard Adams’ novel to write and record Fire On Fire, an original song that will serve as the theme to the forthcoming animated mini-series.
Matthew Read, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, told SFcrowsnest, “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.”
The drama is created in CG by the animation team, led by Pete Dodd (Fantastic Mr Fox, Frankenweenie) and Hugo Sands; along with the animation studio Brown Bag Films, based in Dublin.
The first episode will air on BBC One on Saturday 22nd December from 7pm to 8.40pm.