James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson to star in BBC's 'Dark Materials'

Karen Butler
The BBC said James McAvoy is to star in its new series His Dark Materials. File Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI
The BBC said James McAvoy is to star in its new series "His Dark Materials." File Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

July 27 (UPI) -- Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Georgina Campbell and Lin-Manuel Miranda are to star in the BBC's adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials novels.

Les Miserables and The King's Speech director Tom Hooper is filming the first two episodes of the series in Cardiff. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scribe Jack Thorne penned the screenplay.


"His Dark Materials are the most beautiful set of books, taking us into a world of constant imagination," Thorne said in a statement. "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."


At the heart of the story is Keen's young heroine Lyra, who lives a sheltered life in Jordan College, Oxford.

"When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs. Coulter enters Lyra's life, she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father MacPhail, Lord Boreal and journalist Adele Starminster at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board," a synopsis said. "Lyra is subsequently thrown into the nomadic world of the boat dwelling Gyptians -- Ma Costa, Farder Coram, John Faa, Raymond Van Geritt, Jack Verhoeven and Benjamin de Ruyter who take her North in her quest. Once in the North she meets charismatic aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby who joins them on their epic journey and who becomes one of Lyra's closest allies."

The project was announced in March, but the British broadcaster didn't officially confirm the full cast until Friday.

"In love with Lyra... #hisdarkmaterials #dafnekeen #bbc," Keen tweeted on July 10.

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