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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HBO Has Dropped the First Trailer for Its Next Big Fantasy Series, 'His Dark Materials'

Adapting Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult trilogy of the same name, it stars James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Logan' scene-stealer Dafne Keen.
By Sarah Ward
May 19, 2019
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HBO Has Dropped the First Trailer for Its Next Big Fantasy Series, 'His Dark Materials'

Adapting Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult trilogy of the same name, it stars James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Logan' scene-stealer Dafne Keen.
By Sarah Ward
May 19, 2019
  shares

After nearly a decade of Westerosi power struggles, obsessed fans and soaring ratings, HBO now finds itself with a Game of Thrones-sized gap to fill. The network isn't completely saying goodbye to the world created by George RR Martin, with at least one spinoff confirmed, and several others possibly in the works. But it's also looking for its next big hit.

Bleak superhero saga Watchmen is one of the network's options, with a television adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel headed to screens later this year. His Dark Materials is another, as based on Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult trilogy of books of the same name. And if it sounds familiar, that's because — like Watchmen — one of them has already been turned into a movie.

Twelve years after the incredibly family-oriented The Golden Compass made its way to cinemas, it's now heading to TV alongside sequels The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. HBO is keeping things simple by sticking with the franchise name, other than individual book monikers. And, based on the just-launched first teaser, it has help from a hefty cast — with James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, The Wire's Clarke Peters and Logan's Dafne Keen all starring. Still on the big-name front, Academy Award-winning The King's Speech director Tom Hooper is helming the first two episodes.

Keen plays Lyra Belacqua, an orphan who seems just like everyone else, but hails from an alternate universe — one where a person's soul manifests as a shape-shifting animal called a daemon. As she looks for a kidnapped friend in the Arctic, she discovers a church-run stolen children ring, learns about mysterious particles known as Dust and ventures through different worlds, including the one we all know. McAvoy pops up as a powerful aristocrat, Wilson is his ex and Miranda plays a balloonist and adventurer.

While HBO hasn't announced an exact premiere date as yet, His Dark Materials' eight-episode first season will hit screens by the end of the year. Instigated by and co-produced with the BBC, the show has already been renewed for a second season before it even airs — so the US network is clearly aiming big.

Check out the first teaser below:

His Dark Materials will air on HBO in the second half of the year, with an exact release date yet to be announced. We'll keep you updated — including about air dates Down Under.

Images: HBO.

Published on May 19, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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