James McAvoy and Olivia Colman Star In Watership Down Remake

(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

James McAvoy, Olivia Colman and John Boyega are among an all-star cast for a new adaptation of Richard Adams' 1972 classic novel.

Also starring in the remake are Sir Ben Kingsley (Boyega's Star Wars co-star), Nicholas Hoult, Miles Jupp, Freddie Fox, Gemma Arterton and Anne-Marie Duff (McAvoy's wife).

The four-part CGI animation, written by BAFTA-nominated Tom Tidwell, will be the first co-production between the BBC and Netflix.

BBC's drama commissioning editor Matthew Read said: "Richard Adams' novel is one of the most successful books of all time and one of the biggest selling books in history. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to bring a modern classic to a mainstream BBC One audience with such an incredible roster of actors alongside the talented team overseeing the animation."

The book was first adapted into a notoriously dark film in 1978 which featured graphic scenes that frightened young children.

The show's executive producer told the Telegraph that "[this version] will not just tone down the levels of on-screen violence to make it more appropriate for children, but give a boost to its female characters." Watership Down will air on the BBC in 2017, and on Netflix for outside the UK.