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The BBC’s His Dark Materials Miniseries Finds its Star and Director

In November 2015 the BBC announced they were going to make an adaptation of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy with Bad Wolf Productions. After over two years of development, the series has now found two of its cast members and an Oscar-winning director. First and foremost, the show has cast Dafne Keen as the lead character Lyra Belacqua, an orphan from an alternate version of Oxford who is prophesied to be the person who can save all of reality but at the cost of a great betrayal. Keen is perfect casting, as she showed maturity in her breakout role as Laura/X-23 in Logan and is the right age for the role - Lyra was 12 in the books. Keen's father is English and during interviews she speaks with a standard Southern English accent. The only drawback with Keen is she has dark hair whilst in the books Lyra is blond, but it's nothing a little hair dye can't sort out. His Dark Materials also cast Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star of Hamilton and the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns, as Lee Scoresby, a Texan aëronaut who helps Lyra on her quest in the Arctic Circle and later in a world inhabited by children and soul-sucking specters. Miranda is clearly an emerging talent, having a successful stage career, writing the music for Moana, and having a potential Christmas blockbuster on the horizon. Admittedly my top choice for the role was Alan Tudyk, but I can hardly complain. Tom Hooper has also become attached to the production. Hooper is best known for winning a Best Director Oscar for The King's Speech, and has films like Les Misérables and The Danish Girl to his name. Hooper also has a long career working in television: he directed Elizabeth I and John Adams for HBO, and he is set to direct a live-action adaptation of Cats for Universal.  I even suggested Hooper would be a great choice to direct the series. Hooper is taking on the mantle of showrunner for the miniseries, meaning he will likely direct the first episode and act as a producer afterward. His experience with period dramas would fit perfectly for Lyra's world which is a Steampunk, Victorian-style world. The series already has Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter (Doctor Who) working as producers and playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) has been hired to adapt the novels. His Dark Materials has been adapted once before by New Line Cinema in 2007 with The Golden Compass. It did poorly at the box-office, annoying fans because of the liberties it took with the novels in an attempt to appease Evangelical audiences, an audience that was never going to be interesting in the film or the books. His Dark Materials is set to be the BBC most expensive series and it would need to be because of the large amount of special effects that would be required. The BBC are in talks with broadcasters around the world, including Netflix and Apple who are vying for the American broadcasting rights. Source: Deadline


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