James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson & Clarke Peters join His Dark Materials TV series

There are quite a number of fantasy franchises out there which made the leap to the big-screen only to find themselves stalled after just one film, but occasionally, the material is resurrected and given a second chance. THE GOLDEN COMPASS, which was based on Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, had the potential to become the next LORD OF THE RINGS or HARRY POTTER, but not even the star-studded cast of Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellen, and Eva Green could save it and the planned sequels were soon cancelled.

Tom Hooper (THE KING'S SPEECH) is set to helm an eight-part series based upon "His Dark Materials" for BBC which will star Dafne Keen (LOGAN) as Lyra, a young orphan who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined. Today finds the cast growing a little larger with the addition of James McAvoy (X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX), Ruth Wilson (The Affair), and Clarke Peters (The Wire). McAvoy will play Lord Asriel, the ruthless adventurer played by Daniel Craig in the film, with Wilson set to play Marisa Coulter, the former lover of Lord Asriel who was previously played by Nicole Kidman, and Peters will play the master who raises Lyra. Production on His Dark Materials will begin later this month. Consisting of "Northern Lights," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass," the series begins when "Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. In 'The Subtle Knife' she 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.'"

When the project was first announced, author Philip Pullman said the following in a statement:

It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel—and now comes this version for television. In recent years we’ve seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.  And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I’m delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials. I’m especially pleased at the involvement of Jane Tranter, whose experience, imagination, and drive are second to none.

Source: Deadline



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