Coming this Christmas, the Watership Down mini-series will premiere on BBC One in the UK; and worldwide, outside of the UK, on Netflix.
The all-star cast includes: James McAvoy, John Boyega, Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Colman, Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley, Daniel Kaluuya, Peter Capaldi, Mackenzie Crook, Miles Jupp, Anne-Marie Duff, Charlotte Spencer, Craig Parkinson, Daniel Rigby, Freddie Fox, Gemma Chan, Henry Goodman, Jason Watkins, Lee Ingleby, Rosamund Pike, Rory Kinnear, Taron Egerton, and Tom Wilkinson.
The forthcoming adaptation will feature an original song by Sam Smith. The Grammy, Brit and Academy Award winning artist was inspired by Richard Adams’ classic novel to write and record Fire On Fire, an original song that will serve as the theme to the forthcoming animated mini-series. Fire On Fire was co-written with Steve Mac and was recorded by Sam Smith with the BBC Concert Orchestra at London’s Abbey Road Studios in September 2018.
Adapted for the screen by Tom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary), Watership Down uses Richard Adams’ bestselling novel as its source to bring an innovative interpretation to the beloved story. Set in the idyllic rural landscape of southern England, this tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stout-hearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, towards a promised land and a more perfect society.
Director and Executive Producer for Biscuit Entertainment Noam Murro says: “I’m blown away that Sam Smith is bringing his singular voice to our adaptation of Watership Down. With Fire On Fire he’s created a theme song that connects with the heart of this iconic story. Bringing this story to life has been a long and incredible journey made by the immensely talented and dedicated cast and crew. I can’t wait to share the full series with the world this Christmas.”
Rory Aitken and Josh Varney, Executive Producers for 42 say: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Sam – his stunning track resonates deeply with the themes of the show. We’re bowled over by the talent involved in the mini series, both on screen and off; it’s a labour of love to adapt such a deeply moving and important book, and we’re incredibly excited to be bringing the show to television audiences this Christmas.”
Ben Irving, Executive Producer for BBC One says: “It’s a real testament to the calibre of this adaptation of Watership Down that it has attracted such an exciting roll call of names to bring these much loved characters to life. Now – in Sam Smith – we have one of the world’s most successful recording artists, with the perfect new song to serve as the series’ theme. BBC One viewers are in for a treat this Christmas.”
Watership Down will be shown on BBC One as two special feature length episodes this Christmas.