Thursday, April 28, 2016
Netflix and the BBC producing new 'Watership Down' Adaptation
Adams' novel has previously been adapted not only as the classic 1978 feature, but also inspired an earlier 2D animated series on ITV between 1999 and 2001. The new series is expected to be completed in 2017.
The production has assembled a top notch voice cast that includes James McAvoy, John Boyega, Olivia Colman, Gemma Atterton and Sir Ben Kingsley. The screenplay comes from BAFTA winner Tom Bidwell and will be directed by Noam Murro, who has previously only worked on live-action. The animation team will be headed up by Pete Dodd, a veteran of films including Fantastic Mr Fox, The Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.
What's interesting to note is that this production is being made by BBC One's Drama department, and pointedly not the Corporation's Childrens' wing. Although this is aimed at a family audience, it will air on the Beeb's flagship channel in a primetime slot. Make no mistake- this is going to be a pretty big deal. More than likely it will air in the UK over a holiday period, possibly Christmas and New Year or perhaps more likely- Easter.
BBC Drama commissioning editor Matthew Read said "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.”
Watch this space for more info when we get it.
Posted by Chris Perkins
Chris writes about movies, games, TV and other stuff you love, and has written for places including MyM magazine, Rant Gaming, KillStreakMedia and Anime UK News. He particularly specialises in the field of animation and spends far too much time watching cartoons for a grown up. He regrets nothing. Follow him at @misterchristor.