Pan Macmillan will be the global publishing partner for a new CGI mini-series based on Richard Adams’ Watership Down, co-produced by the BBC and Netflix.
The deal, brokered between Pan Mac and ITV Studios Global Entertainment, covers all territories and languages and will see new tie-in titles issued in the second half of 2018 to coincide with the broadcast premier on the BBC (in the UK) and on Netflix (globally, excluding the UK).
The book publishing incorporates imagery and stills from the series to ensure “a cohesive and contemporary feel” alongside the broadcasts, according to Pan Mac. It includes a full-colour illustrated hardback (£12.99) that takes artwork from the animation to bring the Watership Down story to life, and a “high-end, intricately illustrated” colouring book (£10 paperback).
The books are aimed at a family audience, as is theTV series,which hopes to bring Adams’ tale to a new generation, as well as to fans of the original novel, which sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
Behind the CGI mini-series is BAFTA-nominated scriptwriter Tom Bidwell, who called on an all-star cast which included James McAvoy as Hazel, John Boyega as Bigwig, Sir Ben Kingsley as General Woundwort and Nicholas Hoult as Fiver, as well as Olivia Colman, Miles Jupp, Freddie Fox, Anne-Marie Duff and Gemma Arterton.
Stephanie Barton, who acquired the property for Pan Mac, said: “This classic story has touched the hearts of adults and children for over 40 years, and this new interpretation has given us the most wonderful opportunity to bring it to a whole new family audience. It’s a privilege to work on this extraordinary brand and our creatively exciting publishing captures all the emotional power and stunning visual world of the series.”