Watership_Down_coverNetflix and the BBC are set to produce a new four-episode adaptation of Richard Adams’ 1972 novel, Watership Down (S&S/Scribner).

Deadline Hollywood reports it will star John Boyega, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley, and Gemma Arterton, directed by Noam Murro (300: Rise Of The Empire). The CG animation team is headed by Pete Dodd (Fantastic Mr Fox).

The fantasy adventure novel, much like Tolkien’s The Hobbit, has been a crossover hit with both kids and adults for decades that has been adapted twice before, as a hit movie in 1978 and as a British/Canadian TV series 20 years later. The story follows a group of anthropomorphized rabbits as they escape the destruction of their home (as foreseen by one of their members) and seek a new place to live, all the while facing great danger.

Recalling the darkness of the 1978 adaptation (more on that in a Guardian interview with the author from 2014), the A.V. Club declares that Netflix and the BBC are on course to “ensure that no generation of children goes without the character-building experience of waking up screaming at the thought of being messily devoured by rabbits, or drowned in pastoral fields of blood … [with a] star-studded cast lined up to appear in the ongoing nightmares of every child whose parent puts on “the cute bunny movie” and leaves them to their fates.”

The series is still in development, so there is no word yet on an air date.

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