watership down

HOLLYWOOD – Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly today confirmed that his next project will be a live action version of the Richard Adams children’s classic Watership Down.

Although an animated feature of Watership Down was made in 1978, this will be the first non-animation attempt to tell the story of Blackberry, Bigwig, Fiver and Hazel and their attempt to escape the murderous ravages of Man. The Southland Tales director spoke exclusively to Studio Exec:

I’ve been a fan of Richard Adams’ book since I read it when I was eleven. And I really like the cartoon, but I wanted to see what this would really look like. Plus I do have a thing about rabbits.   

So will you be using CGI, or real rabbits?

No, no CGI at all. And using real rabbits would be tricky. So I’m going old school. I’m going to have all the rabbits played by actors dressed in rabbit suits.

Erm. Wow!?

Yeah, I know. Fantastic. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Hazel and Andy Serkis will play Bigwig. I didn’t actually want him, but there’s something in his contract that he gets first refusal for anything stupid. 

(Since the original publication of this story in 2013 it has come to our attention that BBC and Netflix are collaborating on a remake of Richard Adams’ book starring John Boyega, James McAvoy, Ben Kingsley and Gemma Arterton. Whether or not Richard Kelly is involved in this project is unclear.)

Watership Down is slated for release in 2018. 

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