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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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

It stars James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Logan' scene-stealer Dafne Keen — and it's based on Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult novels.
By Sarah Ward
October 05, 2019
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HBO Has Dropped the Tense Full Trailer for Its Next Big Fantasy Series, 'His Dark Materials'

It stars James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Logan' scene-stealer Dafne Keen — and it's based on Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult novels.
By Sarah Ward
October 05, 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 two spinoffs in the works, and possibly more to come. But it's also looking for its next big hit.

Bleak superhero saga Watchmen is one of the network's options, thanks to a television adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel that's headed to screens this month. His Dark Materials is another, as based on Philip Pullman's award-winning young adult trilogy of books of the same name. And if the latter sounds familiar, that's because — like Watchmen — one of the tomes 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.

Also, they're betting on star power. As the first teaser demonstrated a few months back, the series boasts a hefty cast, spanning James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, The Wire's Clarke Peters and Logan's Dafne Keen. Still on the big-name front, Academy Award-winning The King's Speech director Tom Hooper also helms the first two episodes (which, unlike his next big movie Cats, probably won't feature big-name actors and singers shrunk down to feline size).

Amidst all of the above well-known folks, Keen leads the charge, playing an orphan by the name of Lyra Belacqua. She 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, Lyra 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.

If you're already eager, the eight-episode first season will drop in November — and there's more to come. Instigated by and co-produced with the BBC, the show has already been renewed for a second season before it even airs.

Check out the full trailer below:

His Dark Materials launches on November 5, Australian and New Zealand time — with the series airing weekly from that date on Foxtel in Australia.

Images: HBO.

Published on October 05, 2019 by Sarah Ward

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