HBO has come on board the television adaptation of His Dark Materials, joining BBC, Bad Wolf, and New Line Cinema in producing the series. HBO will be distributing the series worldwide with the exception of the UK.
The series is based on Philip Pullman’s critically acclaimed trilogy: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.
BBC previously announced His Dark Materials has been greenlit for two seasons, with the first season to consist of eight episodes. Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) is directing episodes one and two. Dawn Shadforth (Trust) will direct episode three and Otto Bathhurst (Robin Hood, Peaky Blinders) is attached to direct episodes four and five. Episode six will be directed by Euros Lyn (Doctor Who, Torchwood) and Jamie Childs (Next of Kin) is on board to direct episodes seven and eight.
Philip Pullman, Tom Hooper, Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter, Julie Gardner, Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich, Carolyn Blackwood, Ben Irving, and Piers Wenger are executive producing. BAFTA, Tony, and Olivier Award winning screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, This is England ’88) adapted the books and also executive produces.
“His Dark Materials are the most beautiful set of books, taking us into a world of constant imagination,” said Thorne. “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.”
Commenting on the cast, Philip Pullman said, “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.”
The His Dark Materials Plot:
“An adaptation of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy His Dark Materials, is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction. The first series follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Lyra’s search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets a determined and courageous boy called Will. Together they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living – and the dead – in their hands.”
His Dark Materials Cast:
Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, an adventure-seeking 13-year old from a world that is both like and unlike our own. We meet Lyra as an orphan, having been raised in the sanctuary of Oxford’s illustrious Jordan College. Lyra is desperate to explore with her brilliant Uncle Asriel, until the fates intervene and she ends up on a thrilling and perilous journey of her own. A natural and adept liar, Lyra learns the value of honesty and lies when she becomes the owner of an extraordinary instrument that can tell the truth.
James McAvoy as Lord Asriel Belacqua, a brilliant scholar and a fearless explorer. Asriel is one of few who dare to undermine the powerful forces of Lyra’s world. His ambition is limitless and he will stop at nothing to achieve his ends.
Ruth Wilson as Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic woman whose origins hold many secrets, and who has gained power in a patriarchal society against the odds. Intelligent and manipulative, Mrs. Coulter always needs to be in control; but her motivations are rarely as they seem.
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, an aeronaut-for-hire who can keep his head in a crisis, although he is often getting himself embroiled in trouble.
Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa, a fiercely maternal, high-ranking gyptian. The disappearance of her youngest son Billy is the latest of an increasing number of missing children, and acts as a call to action for the gyptian people to find and rescue them.
Clarke Peters as The Master of Jordan College, a man who understands politics and is Lyra’s guardian as she grows up in Oxford.
Ariyon Bakare as Carlo Boreal, an authoritative political figure who works with the Magisterium, but keeps many secrets and knows which ears to whisper into to achieve power.
Will Keen as Father MacPhail, a high-ranking member of the Magisterium whose belief is so unwavering that he will preserve its position at any cost.
Ian Gelder as Charles the Librarian, a learned man and counsel to the Master of Jordan College, who helps to care for Lyra.
Georgina Campbell as Adèle Starminster, a bright and inquisitive journalist who seeks to uncover the truth about the mysterious Mrs Coulter.
Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, the 12-year-old kitchen boy of Jordan College and Lyra’s best friend. Where Lyra is a natural liar, Roger is naturally honest and kind. Roger often acts as Lyra’s moral compass.
Lucian Msamati as John Faa, a plain-speaking warrior and king of the Western gyptians, a close-knit, nomadic and honourable people. John Faa leads a band of brave fighters to action when it becomes clear that the governing forces of their world will not help them get their missing children back.
James Cosmo as Farder Coram, a gyptian and key advisor to John Faa. As an elder member of the community, Coram brings knowledge and wisdom to the gyptians. He is a brave fighter with an extraordinary past.
Daniel Frogson as Tony Costa, the eldest son of the gyptian Ma Costa. At 15 years old, Tony’s daemon has just settled, marking him as having come of age. Tony has a gruff teenage exterior as he tries to step into adult shoes, but is also brave and kind.
Tyler Howitt as Billy Costa, the youngest son of gyptian Ma Costa.
Ruta Gedmintas as Serafina Pekkala, queen of the Lake Enara clan, a 300-year-old witch with ties to the gyptians. Serafina believes that Lyra is the answer to the witch prophecy that will change the course of destiny.
Mat Fraser as Raymond van Gerrit, a gyptian who joins the fight for the missing children but knows it will push their resources and capabilities to their limits, and worries that John Faa is getting them into a fight they cannot win.
Geoff Bell as Jack Verhoeven, a gyptian who is relied upon and trusted in a fight, but who has a chip on his shoulder because of the way that gyptians are treated by the rest of society.
Simon Manyonda as Benjamin de Ruyter, a gyptian and talented spy driven to find the whereabouts of the missing children.