James McAvoy and Clarke Peters join cast of ‘His Dark Materials’


James McAvoy (Split, X-Men franchise) and Clarke Peters (The Wire, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) will star in the BBC One adaptation of fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials.

The series, by author Philip Pullman, is comprised of the three novels Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

His Dark Materials is a coming of age tale which follows children Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they travel through alternate universes. They are helped by their Dæmons – an animal-shaped manifestation of the characters’ inner selves.

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Although the series was marketed to young adults, it covers complex subjects of philosophy and theology.

Deadline reports that McAvoy will be playing Lord Asriel, Lyra’s reckless, adventurer uncle.

Asriel was portrayed by Daniel Craig in the 2007 film The Golden Compass, which also starred Nicole Kidman.

Peters will star as the master who has raised the orphaned Lyra.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, the upcoming Mary Poppins) has already been confirmed for the part of Lee Scoresby, a human aeronaut who travels with an armored bear. Dafne Keen (Logan) has also signed on for the part of Lyra.

His Dark Materials will be directed by Tom Hooper, who is best known for directing The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, and The Danish Girl. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on The King’s Speech.

Hooper will also serve as executive producer for the series, along with Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner of Bad Wolf Productions, Toby Emmerich and Caroline Blackwood for New Line, Bethan Jones for BBC One and Deborah Forte for Scholastic.

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Apple and Netflix are reportedly in talks for the international screening rights. Production of His Dark Materials is set to begin production in Wales in the coming months.