According to exclusive information provided to Deadline, Tom Hooper is set to direct a TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials for BBC One. The sensational Dafne Keen, who practically stole the scene as X-23 from Hugh Jackman in Logan, is set to play the main character Lyra, an orphan who lives in a parallel universe. Joining the cast as Lee Scoresby, we find the creator and star of the hit musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Jack Thorne who is currently working with Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Stardust) and David S. Goyer (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Constantine) on a Sandman TV show, gave in a script in 2015 for an eight-part series. Following lengthy negotiations due to his prior attachment to the live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats for Universal, Hooper just signed a deal. The auteur showing his eagerness to work on the series from the get-go managed to make room in his busy schedule for what seems like a passion project.
Pullman’s original His Dark Materials fantasy series consisted of three books, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It follows the adventures of Lyra who in an effort to find her missing fellow orphan, embarks on a journey that transcends universes, heaven, and hell, to eventually find the very meaning of life. The plot brings her in the companionship of armored polar bears, flying witches, and friendly pirates and pits her against evil organizations and mystical creatures. The plot touches upon physics, philosophy, and theology while telling the story of the coming of age of two children, Lyra and Will.
The series, which is produced by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner’s Bad Wolf in association with New Line Cinema for BBC One, is set to be one of the most expensive British dramas to date. Due to the high value of the production, BBC Worldwide has been talking to a number of international broadcasters and streaming services about the project’s U.S. and global rights, including Apple and Netflix.
The TV show will be the second attempt at a live-action adaptation of the novels, following the critically and commercially panned Golden Compass in 2007. Although the film included a noteworthy cast including up and coming Dakota Blue Johnson in the role of Lyra and a series of A-listers that include Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Christopher Lee, Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Kathy Bates, and Kristin Scott Thomas, a weak script and the studio’s unwillingness to adhere to the source material and it’s underlying themes made it a bland watch.
The show is set to start production in Wales soon and the producers are expected to announce casting in the coming weeks. The author Philip Pullman being an executive producer on the series will hopefully ensure a worthy adaptation.
Will you add this to your binge list, when the time comes? Add your thoughts in the comments!