James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson & Clarke Peters Join ‘His Dark Materials’ Cast | TV News
James McAvoy (X-Men), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Clarke Peters (The Wire) have each been cast in the eight part series, His Dark Materials. The show will be based on author Philip Pullman‘s trilogy of the same name, which was previously adapted for the big screen under the name The Golden Compass in 2007.
That film was intended to be a multi-picture franchise and had the potential to become the next Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter, but not even a star studded cast of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen and Eva Green could push it to the heights Warner Bros. wanted. It made $372 million from a $180 million budget, and the planned sequels were quickly cancelled.
But now, the material has been resurrected for a second chance. Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) will helm the eight part series for the BBC which will star Dafne Keen (Logan) as Lyra, a young orphan who lives in a parallel universe where science, theology and magic are entwined. The series will adapt the books Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
Pullman previously made this statement when the project was first announced:
“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“.
McAvoy will play Lord Asriel, the ruthless adventurer previously played by Craig in the film, with Wilson playing the former lover of Asriel, Marisa Coulter, and Peters playing the master who raises Lyra. Production is expected to begin later this month.