Watership Down: first images

First images of upcoming BBC / Netfix animation Watership Down has been released.

The 2 part miniseries, based on the modern classic novel by Richard Adams, centres around rabbits Hazel (voiced by James McAvoy), alongside Fiver (Nicholas Hoult), Bigwig (John Boyega), Clover (Gemma Arterton) and Strawberry (Olivia Colman).

Previously announced cast include Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) and Rosamund Pike (A Private War, Gone Girl) who will play Bluebell and The Black Rabbit Of Inlé respectively, with Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, The Thick Of It) announced to join the cast as the seagull Kehaar.

Also voicing are Taron Egerton, Mackenzie Crook, Gemma Chan, Jason Watkins, Rory Kinnear, Craig Parkinson, Henry Goodman, Tom Wilkinson, Lee Ingleby, Charlotte Spencer and Daniel Rigby.

The cast is rounded out by the previously-announced Sir Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort, Freddie Fox as Captain Holly, Anne-Marie Duff as Hyzenthlay, and Miles Jupp as Blackberry.

Sam Smith has co-written write and recorded the theme song Fire On Fire with the BBC Concert Orchestra at London’s Abbey Road Studios.

Sam Smith said: “I am so excited and honoured to be a part of this new adaptation of Watership Down. This story is so powerful and timeless, and it has been thrilling to work with Noam and his team and the incredible Steve Mac on this song for it. I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.”

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.”

It will be shown on BBC One as two special feature length episodes this Christmas with Netflix having international rights.


  1. I’ve no intention of watching this, im 42 years old and I saw this at primary school and I remember being extremely sad seeing it, however the song “Bright Eyes” is one of my favourite songs of all time.

  2. From memory it was a sad story. It’s a quest for survival when their home is threatened with destruction. The story use to have an important message about the relationship between stories and moral values, but not sure how true to the book the movie will be. The original song is called Everybody needs a Watership Down. Another song called Bright Eyes was used in an 1978 animated British television series, and sung by Art Garfunkel. Its a sad song, sung at an appropriate time of saying goodbye. I must admit, I cried.

  3. I am eager to see this, as I have never read the book (it wasn’t popular in Australia when I was I child, I don’t know if that has changed) but while interacting with people from overseas on r/fantasy have found out it is a beloved classic in the rest of the world.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.