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‘Watership Down’ Remake In The Works At BBC

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A remake of the classic – but harrowing – animation ‘Watership Down’ is being made by the BBC, but will water down some of the more brutal scenes, says its producer.

The star-studded project, which is a co-production with Netflix, will feature Olivia Colman, John Boyega, James McAvoy, Ben Kingsley, Nicholas Hoult and Gemma Arterton among the voice cast, with a rumoured budget of £20 million.

Based on the 1972 book by Richard Adams, it tells the story of a group of rabbits forced to find a new warren, but who encounter terrible danger along the way.

But according to Rory Aitken, the executive producer, the new version, which will be told in four parts, will find fewer children ‘scarred’ by the unfolding drama.

“The thing about Watership Down is that it’s an epic adventure story,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“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.

“It’s grown this reputation for being scarring and horrific and brutal, and actually that’s not what the essence of the story is.

“While we won’t shy away from the darkness in the book, visually it won’t be as brutal and scarring.

“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.”

In the original movie, directed by Martin Rosen, scenes of a rabbit being choked by a snare and more scenes of brutal fighting were presented in graphic detail.

As such, the U certificate it was afforded has long been contested.

Last month, after the film was shown on Channel 5 during the afternoon over the Easter weekend to some consternation from parents, the BBFC said that it would be rated PG today, for its language as well as the violence on screen.

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‘Millie Bobby Brown Voicing A VR Experience For Darren Aronofsky’ Is The Most 2018 Headline You’ll Read Today

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Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown has signed on to narrate the second ‘episode’ in a three-part virtual reality experience entitled Spheres, from creative auteur Darren Aronofsky.

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) lent her voice to the first episode, which was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival. The third episode premiered before the second, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was narrated by Patti Smith (Song to Song). Aronofsky has produced the series, which is described as a ‘virtual journey’ – because of course it is – and is based on the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot‘ image of Earth, taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990. All three episodes were directed by up-and-comer Eliza McNitt (Fistful of Stars).

The series will be shown off for the first time in its entirety at the Venice Film Festival, as part of the event’s virtual reality section, from the 29th of August until the 8th of September. Spheres will be released to the public on the Oculus VR system following the culmination of the VFF.

Millie Bobby Brown can next be seen in Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, due on the 31st May next year.

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Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron Comedy Flarsky Delayed Four Months To Open In Summer

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Lionsgate are feeling confident about their forthcoming comedy Flarsky.

The film, which stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, recently scored highly in test screenings, with a majority of audience members giving it scores about 95%, and as such the studio now feel the feature can perform amongst the big boys in the Summer blockbuster season.

Flarsky will follow down-on-his-luck journalist Fred Flarsky (Rogen) who – following a series of ludicrous circumstances – catches the eye of the most powerful woman in the world, Charlotte Field (Theron). From there, Flarsky becomes a confidante and an integral member of her inner circle, as Field works her way towards the US Presidency.

The project had been slated for a February 8th 2019 release date, but following the positive test screenings Lionsgate have pushed the film back to the 7th of July – for some perspective, that’s the same weekend Ocean’s 8 opened this year.

Flarsky has been directed by Jonathan Levine, and also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Andy Serkis, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

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PETA Demands Boycott Of Alpha Following Animal Deaths Allegations

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PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have called for a boycott of Sony Pictures’ upcoming historical family-adventure Alpha, after five bison were supposedly killed for the film’s shooting.

“Five sensitive bison lost their lives, all so that their bodies could be used as props in this wholly forgettable flick,” PETA’s Senior Vice-President Lisa Lange said in a statement, “PETA is calling on the public to show Hollywood that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated by refusing to buy a ticket to Alpha.”

The bison carcasses were used as props in the aftermath of a pivotal hunting scene in the film, which is set 20,000 years ago – shortly after the last Ice Age – and tells an origin tale for man’s partnership with dogs.

The deaths of the bison were uncovered after a 2016 investigation by the Hollywood Reporter which found that animal wrangler John Scott, who was supposedly overseen by the American Humane Association, had contacted the Longview Beef Jerky company in order to purchase the bodies of animals they had themselves killed. However, as this would then reasonably make the film’s production responsible for the creature’s deaths it would also subsequently breach the AHA’s code of conduct for filmmaking.

Alpha will not carry a tag in its credits that reads “No animals were harmed during the making of this film”, and is due for release on the 24th of August, rated 12A. It stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Maithe, and Leonor Varnela, and was directed by Albert Hughes.

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