A 21st-century CGI resurrection of the English rabbits of Watership Down is underway at the BBC and hopes to begin production soon. When Richard Adams' serious bunny saga scampered onto American bookshop shelves and became an international cultural touchstone in 1974, the world was introduced to the violence and heartbreak amid a complex society of intelligent rabbits.
The book has gone on to sell 50 million copies and is still a familiar sight in beachbags, book clubs and library wait lists around the globe. Not since Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows or George Orwell's Animal Farm had a book dramatizing the annals of animals been so widely absorbed and dissected in a story that reflected familiar political and religious issues of the times.
A successful 1987 animated film directed by Martin Rosen featured a faithful approach to the sometimes alarming material, and is beloved (or remembered in nightmares) by a generation. So why remake it? Reportedly it's an effort to more fully capture the livilng world of the rabbits of Watership Down, with more advanced animation technology better able to render the wildlife and scenery that make up their world. The story follows the plight of a warren of rabbits searching for a new home after a frightening dream by the tale's young buck hero, Fiver, warns of their eventual extinction.
Are you excited to return to the cozy warren of your youth with this new BBC project, or do you think we'd be better leaving the classics alone?
(Via Radio Times)