A short teaser trailer has been released for His Dark Materials, an upcoming series based on Philip Pullman’s epic book trilogy, consisting of Northern Lights (which was published as The Golden Compass in the US), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.
It’s an ambitious project, and is one of the most expensive series to ever come out of Britain. BBC is behind it, along with Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema. HBO will be airing it in the US. The cast includes Logan breakout Dafne Keen, James McAvoy (playing Lord Asriel), Ruth Wilson (playing Marisa Coulter) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby).
The first season will be following Lyra (Keen), a brave young girl from another world. What begins as a search for a friend who’s been kidnapped soon has her discovering a sinister plot involving stolen children and puts her on a path to understanding a mysterious phenomenon called dust. Her journey takes her through worlds, including ours, and teams her up with a boy named Will; the two encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living—and the dead— in their hands.
“We wanted fans to have a tiny glimpse of His Dark Materials,” exec producer Jane Tranter said in a statement with the teaser’s release. “As with Lyra, there are many more worlds to discover as we start upon this epic journey.”
The directing team here includes Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl, Les Misérables) and Otto Bathurst (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders), among others. The screenplay adaptation of Pullman’s work comes from Jack Thorne, whose credits include British series Skins and National Treasure, as well a co-writing credit on the 2017 Jacob Tremblay-starrer Wonder.
No release date has yet been announced for His Dark Materials, which also stars (deep breath) Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen (Dafne’s father), Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda, Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson and Tyler Howitt. Fingers firmly crossed for this one; no one wants another repeat of the 2001 failed franchise-starter The Golden Compass.