The BBC and HBO have revealed the first big trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
Dafne Keen takes on the lead role of Lyra, the young protagonist of the story who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Placed there at the request of her Uncle, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) she lives a sheltered life amongst the scholars and college staff while under the watchful protection of The Master (Clarke Peters) and Librarian Scholar Charles (Ian Gelder).
When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson) enters Lyra’s life she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father MacPhail (Will Keen), Lord Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) and journalist Adele Starminster (Georgina Campbell) at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board.
Lyra is subsequently thrown into the nomadic world of the boat dwelling Gyptians – Ma Costa (Anne-Marie Duff), Farder Coram (James Cosmo), John Faa (Lucian Msamati), Raymond Van Geritt (Mat Fraser), Jack Verhoeven (Geoff Bell) and Benjamin de Ruyter (Simon Manyonda) who take her North in her quest.
Once in the North she meets charismatic aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) who joins them on their epic journey and who becomes one of Lyra’s closest allies.
Talented young actors joining the cast include Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, Daniel Frogson as Tony Costa, Tyler Howitt as Billy Costa and Archie Barnes as Pantalaimon.
Philip Pullman says: “I’m delighted that the production is under way, and I’m looking forward immensely to seeing how it looks. Bad Wolf has assembled a wonderful cast and I’m sure every HDM reader is as keen as I am to see it all coming together.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “The vast, complex and deeply imaginative landscape of Philip’s novels requires a world class but quintessentially British band of creatives to bring them to life. The BBC is proud and privileged to be the host to such visionaries. Thank you to Jane, Jack, Dan, Joel and Tom and of course to Philip for entrusting us with their work and sharing the journey of seeing His Dark Materials come to life”.
Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, This is England ’88) is a Bafta, Tony and Olivier Award winning screenwriter and playwright.
Thorne says: “His Dark Materials are the most beautiful set of books, taking us into a world of constant imagination. Reading them I was a massive fan, in adapting them I’ve increasingly felt in awe of them. It’s the constant invention, the way the story never sits still, and that the characters constantly surprise you. It’s been a joy being part of a creative team for this; from Tom’s incredible analytic mind and amazing eye, to Joel’s beautiful world building, to everyone else involved. And then there’s the cast, which has proved to be the cast of dreams, we are so lucky to have been able to entice them in.”
His Dark Materials is one of the supreme works of imaginative fiction for both children and adults published in the 20th century. After series one, which covers the first instalment of Northern Lights, the story continues in The Subtle Knife where Lyra is joined on her journey by Will, a boy who possesses a knife that can cut windows between worlds. As Lyra learns the truth about her parents and her prophesied destiny, the two young people are caught up in a war against celestial powers that ranges across many worlds and leads to a thrilling conclusion in The Amber Spyglass.
The novel has been published in more than 40 languages and has sold worldwide close to 18 million copies.
His Dark Materials is coming soon to BBC One and HBO in the US.