Fans of author Philip Pullman’s masterpiece ‘His Dark Materials’ will be very pleased to see the new live-action adaption is well-underway, with the BBC releasing a kind of first-look teaser trailer for the upcoming series this week. The last time we saw the beloved franchise attempt the jump to any screen was with an American movie adaption of the first book (which is titled ‘The Golden Compass’ in the US, and ‘Northern Lights’ in the UK), which failed miserably at the box-office due to the director not truly understanding the work, and the studio more interested in making the next ‘Lord of the Rings’ (i.e. obsessed with making sure they had enough material for the sequels, therefore slashing huge chunks out of the first movie, INCLUDING THE CLIMAX which they wanted to start the second movie with), all of which was all the more tragic considering the stellar cast they had for that adaptation with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig attached.
The new BBC adaptation is tackling the project as a TV series, which I have always thought to be a better idea for a dense book series like this, making each book a season, and really allowing the story to ebb and flow similar to what the author intended in his writing (as opposed to trying to cram it all into a 2-hour movie). The pilot episode for the BBC version is being directed by Tom Hooper, with screenwriter Jack Thorne taking on the massive task of adapting the novels to script form, and attached to star in the series are Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The project is the first television series for New Line Cinema, though HBO and the BBC are being given the lion’s share of the credit for producing the series, and has so much anticipation behind it that the BBC has already greenlit a second season for the series, even though the first season is not set to debut until later this year.
The teaser itself has no dialogue, and does not really mean all that much to those who do not know the source material, besides introducing the actors in the series, but for those of us in the know, it has begun establishing Lyra’s world and the look and feel of the characters (sadly it lacks any shots of Daemon’s, which most likely are VFX shots that have not been completed yet) and works to start setting up the tone of the series (including some of the more menacing shots), which feels about right with how I envisioned a lot from the book.
Check it out for yourself below and share your thoughts on this new adaptation of ‘His Dark Materials’ in the comments below!