Fans of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic His Dark Materials don’t have much longer to wait to feast their eyeballs on BBC and HBO‘s mega-budget adaptation: the cable giant will premiere the epic series on Monday, November 4th. That’s not all, though: Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the series will also be blending in some aspects from prequel novel The Book of Dust.
Lead executive producer Jane Tranter wouldn’t reveal specifics, but added:
“We use a tiny bit, which I can’t tell you. You’ll have to wait and see. As far as the deeper mythology is concerned, we grab at anything we can get. As [teleplay writer] Jack Thorne would say, it’s like we’ve done a PhD in the mythology of these books.”
Tranter explains that it’s all about giving the viewer and fans of Pullman’s work as detailed an adaptation as possible:
“We did have to take a very clear line and say we’re adapting His Dark Materials, and if there’s anything in The Book of Dust that suggests that — perhaps the origin story is a little bit different than how it is in the pages of His Dark Materials — we’ll either go by that or we’ll just adapt what’s in His Dark Materials.”
Production on the sophomore season is already underway – with Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) set to join the second season as Col. John Parry/Doctor Stanislaus Grumman, with the season adapting Pullman’s The Subtle Knife. If there is a third season (which is expected), The Amber Spyglass will be adapted to complete the trilogy.
Here’s a look at the voice cast for the series’ eight-episode first season:
● Lyra Belacqua’s (Dafne Keen) daemon Pan(-talaimon) – Kit Connor (Rocketman)
● Lee Scoresby’s (Lin-Manuel Mirnada) daemon Hester – Comedian Cristela Alonzo
● Serafina Pekkala’s (Ruta Gedmintas) daemon Kaisa – David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot)
● Lord Asriel’s (James McAvoy) daemon Stelmaria – Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders)
● Mrs. Coulter’s (Ruth Wilson) daemon – puppeteer Brian Fisher (Detective Pikachu)
● Iorek Byrnison, a panserbjørne – Joe Tandberg (The Innocents)
Based on Pullman’s literary trilogy (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) and written by Jack Thorne, His Dark Materials boasts Tom Hooper as lead director and helmer of the first two episodes. Remaining directors include Dawn Shadforth (Episode 3), Otto Bathhurst (Episodes 4 & 5), Euros Lyn (Episode 6), and Jamie Childs (Episodes 7 & 8).
McAvoy plays Lord Asriel, who has a demon in the form of a snow leopard, while Wilson’s Mrs. Coulter has a monkey. Miranda’s air balloon-flying Texan Lee Scoresby enjoys singing with his demon.
The cast of HBO and BBC’s His Dark Materials also includes Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda, Amir Wilson, Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson, and Tyler Howitt.
Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows Lyra (Dafne Keen), a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her 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 Will, a determined and courageous boy. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.
The line-up of executive producers for His Dark Materials include Dan McCulloch, Jane Tranter, and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf, Pullman, Thorne, Hooper, Deborah Forte, Toby Emmerich, and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line Cinema, and Ben Irving and Piers Wenger for BBC One.