John Boyega and James McAvoy to (Vocally) Star in a Less Brutal ‘Watership Down’ Miniseries

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It’s springtime, which means it’s bunny season! What better way to celebrate cute little bunny rabbits than with the beautiful story of the book by Richard Adams, Watership Down, which features adorable rodents scurrying from one bunny hole to another. Nobody likes moving though, especially when being pushed out by richer, two-legged farmers! No surprise then that the bunnies turn to in-fighting and murder, and that, by the end of the whole thing, their green forest neighborhood is covered in blood! What sad, cute fun! Great, then, that it’s once again being adapted for the screen, this time our TV screens, as a miniseries collaboration between Netflix and BBC.

This news broke yesterday along with the fact that the series will feature the voices of some pretty big UK names: James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, John Boyega, Olivia Colman, Freddie Fox, Miles Jupp and Anne-Marie Duff. It’ll be written by Tom Bidwell of the very good My Mad Fat Diary, and will be directed by Noam Murro, who directed 300: Rise of an Empire, and so is a perfect match for the bloodbath that takes place here.

Only, it might not be as much of a bloodbath as the 1978 Martin Rosen film, because the BBC doesn’t want to scar children — but, wasn’t that the whole point? Well, maybe not, as the film’s producers have said they will focus on the adventure aspect of the story rather than the brutality. There will also be computer-generated animation, though it’s not clear whether or not it’s in addition to hand-drawn animation, or if this film will be purely CGI.

The series is expected to be completed by the end of this year, so hopefully we’ll see it on our screens sometime in 2017.