Meet the cast of His Dark Materials.
Fans of Philip Pullman’s cult fantasy book series, His Dark Materials, have waited decades for a decent on-screen adaptation (we’re just going to ignore the 2007 film starring Daniel Craig). And if the trailer for the upcoming BBC adaptation is anything to go by, we may be about to get one.
The drama, which will air later this year over eight episodes on BBC One, follows Lyra (played by Dafne Keen), a brave young woman from another world. Whose quest to find her kidnapped friend leads her to uncover a sinister plot of a secret organization, encounter extraordinary beings and protect dangerous secrets.
The spectacular footage, which was unveiled at the show’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego on Thursday (July 18), sees young Lyra abandoned when her uncle Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) sets off to uncover the kidnappings of children in the North.
His absence allows Lyra to fall under the influence of Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson) and the corrupted ‘Magisterium’, but Lyra is thrown into her own adventure when she is given a mystical device known as an ‘alethiometer’.
The trailer shows a host of familiar faces, including Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda as the aeronaut Lee Scoresby, The Wire‘s Clarke Peters as Lyra’s protector Dr Carne and Game of Thrones star James Cosmo as Coram Van Texel.
Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con, James McAvoy, who plays the stoic, adventurous Lord Asriel, said he immediately wanted to accept the offer to join the series. He said:
“Philip Pullman celebrates humanity.
“Part of what he sees as a prime characteristic of humanity is rational, creative, imaginative thought.”
Executive producer Jane Tranter said:
“Philip Pullman was our guide. He never underestimated children as his hero, heroine or readers.
“The Magisterium doesn’t equate to any particular church or religion in our world, Pullman is attacking a particular form of control where there is an attempt to withhold information, keep people in the dark and not allow ideas and thought to be free.”
Executive producer Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) added:
“If this was a superhero story, we would be following Lord Asriel, not Lyra.
“There’s something very beautiful about the way Philip [Pullman] sees the world, and I think it has lessons for all of us. I really believe that we should be following our goodness right now, and we are getting distracted by greatness.”
Also published on Medium.