James McAvoy, John Boyega and Ben Kingsley to star in new version of ‘Watership Down’

Gemma Arterton and Olivia Colman also sign up for joint BBC and Netflix collaboration

James McAvoy, Star Wars actor John Boyega, Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton have signed up for a new version of Watership Down.

The Richard Adams’ classic novel was previously adapted into an animated movie in 1978. It recently caused uproar when it was screened on Channel 5 over Easter.

Now the BBC has teamed up with Netflix, for a new four part animated series which will also see Olivia Colman, Nicolas Hault, Miles Jupp, Freddie Fox and Anne-Marie Duff voicing several characters.


The plot, involves a colony of rabbits uprooted from their rurla warren at Sandleford by impending human development. Embarking on a perilous journey across southern England they eventually wind up at new home Watership Down, but face a new threat from the neighbouring warren Efrafa: a police state run by the tyrannical bunny General Woundwort.

McAvoy will play protagonist Hazel and Hoult his younger brother Fiver. Boyega will play Bigwig; Arterton – Clover; Jupp is Blackberry; Colman is Strawberry; Duff will play Hyzenthlay; Fox is Captain Holly; and Kingsley, is the big bad General himself.

“We jumped at the chance to get in early and work alongside the BBC to bring this classic English tale to our members around the world,” Netflix’s VP of global television Larry Tanz told Empire magazine. “This novel presentation of Adams’ work pairs great talent with beautiful animation and will delight existing fans and capture a whole new audience for this timeless story.”

The mini-series will be screened on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix everywhere else. Filming is due to be completed in 2017.


General Election 2019: Conservatives declared winners after disastrous night for Labour

Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson will both stand down as party leaders.

Edward Norton: “If you take your work seriously, it’s all-consuming”

The 'Fight Club' star on working with Thom Yorke, new film 'Motherless Brooklyn' and building a Hollywood legacy