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BBC collaborates with Netflix on fresh Watership Down production

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By John Glenday, Reporter

April 28, 2016 | 2 min read

The BBC has teamed up with streaming provider Netflix to produce a fresh interpretation of the literary classic Watership Down, lining up an A-list cast in the process.

Star Wars storm trooper turned rebel John Boyega will feature alongside X-Men star James McAvoy; together with Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Anne-Marie Duff and Nicholas Hoult who will each lend their vocals to the four-part animation.

Josh Varney of independent production company 42 said: “Most people’s frame of reference is the movie from the late 70s but the book is a 400-page epic and we have got four hours of TV to really let the story and the characters breathe.

“Tom Bidwell has done a brilliant job of being able to weave in more female characters, which I think the audience will find exciting. It’s about rabbits trying to find a home and within that story there are does and we wanted to amplify those roles to give more balance to the piece.”

Adapting the classic 1970’s tale of a herd of rabbits forced to abandon their warren the series will boast a blockbuster budget of £20m and will be broadcast in the UK on BBC 1 and Netflix internationally.

It will be the largest single collaboration between the BBC and Netflix to date.

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