If George Orwell had thought to use rabbits as the main characters in Animal Farm, he might have come up with Watership Down, but Richard Adams got there first. Adams' classic 1972 novel has been adapted several times for the big and small screens, and now it's getting one more animated iteration from BBC One in the form of a miniseries.
The first trailer for Watership Down is now online and highlights an epic quest for a new homeland, as well as a battle against tyranny. James McAvoy, John Boyega, Daniel Kaluuya, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, and Nicholas Hoult lead the impressive voice cast, each one of them portraying talking bunny rabbits.
Humanizing the long-eared protagonists is an important part of the story, which reflects our own world but is still different in several ways, as the rabbits have their very own culture and lingo. In that regard, Adams showed an almost Tolkien-esque sense of worldbuilding.
Check out the trailer below:
As those on YouTube were quick to point out, the animation doesn't look all that great, but an A-list ensemble cast should make up for that fact. In addition to the names we already mentioned above, keep your ears pricked up for Taron Egerton, Rosamund Pike, Rory Kinnear, Gemma Chan, Mackenzie Crook, Tom Wilkinson, and Peter Capaldi.
BBC One's take on Adams' book is the fifth adaptation since the 1978 film version that starred John Hurt and Roy Kinnear (father of Rory). In the last 40 years, the novel's been turned into a TV show, a stage production, another miniseries, a kids' show, and a video game.
Watership Down premieres on BBC One Dec. 22.