Whenever a remake of a classic is brought to the table, there are a lot of people with a lot of opinions. The puritans will be all "why did they remake that it should have been left alone." The die hard fans will be like "oh I am excited but I hope they don't eff it up," and the more open minded folk will be saying "meh, I'll try anything once." The key question with most reboots and especially this one is, will it be true to the original? Well, BBC's Watership Down is different to the original film.
OK, so it's different in two pretty big ways y'all, and ways that are positive for heaps of reasons. Any bunny lovers look away right this very minute. It's about to be a bit brutal — or is it? So they have chosen to make it decidedly less brutal, which is a pretty good choice if you ask me. A great many people remember the trauma of the cray cray violence in the original film, including one of the stars of the new adaptation, John Boyega. "I can’t lie. It was too much. It was bloody and looked a bit strange and as a kid taking that in was very scary," he told the Mirror. Ugh shudders just thinking about it. Speaking to The Telegraph, Rory Aitken, the executive producer of the latest production said the focus is more on the story, not the gore.
"It’s grown this reputation for being scarring and horrific and brutal, and actually that’s not what the essence of the story is"
So y'all like I said, there are actually two changes. So the second change is basically bringing female characters to the front. Yes babes. In the original the female characters aren't very important but in the new one, the female rabbits get what The Telegraph describes as "a dose of doe power" (female rabbits are does). "Female characters more prominent and heroic than ever before," Aitken told the newspaper.
I mean fair enough really. They are hardly going to have the likes of Olivia Colman, Anne-Marie Duff, and Gemma Arterton be boring side characters, are they? Nope, they are heroes in this story as well. Which is great, as we all know that heroism doesn't belong only to cis gendered men/rabbits. Cough.
The inclusivity and toned down violence is reflective of the producers' desire to make this a production for everyone and more suitable to 2018. One you can watch with your niece and nephew without worrying about having them crawling into your room in the middle of the night with nightmares. As Aitken told The Telegraph, the story needs to be told for what it is, a great adventure.
"It’s not a terrifying, brutal story. I think that in a way we want to restore the reputation that the book should have as one of the great adventure stories of all time... The idea is to bring it to a wider family audience. While Watership Down is never going to be for young children, it will be for the whole family to watch together."
OK so maybe not one for the niece and the nephew. But, it looks like this version of a classic will provide you with all of the story, without the gory, and will open the classic to a much larger audience. And that sounds great to me.