John Boyega goes down the rabbit hole in new BBC-Netflix 'Watership Down' series

Nicholas Hoult and James McAvoy will also voice bunnies in the animated adaptation of the classic rabbit-based children's story.

John Boyega goes from BB-8 to bunnies in "Watership Down".

LAN/Corbis

A whole generation of British kids was emotionally scarred by the 1978 animated film "Watership Down", and now the BBC and Netflix is planning a new version that hooks in young viewers with Star Wars star John Boyega.

In their biggest collaboration to date, the UK broadcaster and globally available streaming service will produce a big-budget four-part computer-animated series based on the 1972 children's novel by Richard Adams. The book tells the emotional and surprisingly brutal story of a group of rabbits searching for a new home.

Nicholas Hoult from "Mad Max: Fury Road" and Boyega, rocketed to fame by his role in "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" will voice the rabbits Fiver and Bigwig. "X-Men" star James McAvoy joins Ben Kingsley, Olivia Colman and Gemma Arterton in the cast.

The series will delve deeper into the novel than the 1978 film adaptation, which as recently as last month was causing controversy among parents when it was screened on British TV.

"Watership Down" is the latest international series backed by Netflix, which is producing big-name movies and locally produced shows in the UK, Germany and France to appeal to a global audience.

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