Now that’s he’s wrapped up roles as Professor X in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The Beast in Glass, James McAvoy has signed on for the BBC miniseries adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic His Dark Materials. He play Lord Asriel, portrayed in the 2007 film The Golden Compass by Daniel Craig.
McAvoy is no stranger to book adaptations of late, nor to BBC series. He’s completing voice work on the BBC miniseries for Watership Down, and he recently signed on to play Bill Denbrough in Stephen King’s IT: Chapter 2.
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Unlike the previous adaptation of Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, the BBC series will cover all three His Dark Materials novels: The Golden Compass (or The Northern Lights as published outside of North America), The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
The young-adult series follows a girl named Lyra (Logan‘s Dafne Keen) in a multiverse of parallel dimensions where humans have animal-formed daemons (a sort of connected spirit guide). Lyra uncovers a plot by the evil “Gobblers” to kidnap children and perform experiments to sever the bond between human and daemon, and sets out on an adventure across the multiverse to save her friend Roger with the help of an armored bear and an aeronout, Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda).
McAvoy’s character, Lord Asriel, is a ruthless adventurer and Lyra’s biological father. Asriel is researching Dust, an elementary particle, and opposes the prominent religious institution of his world, the Church.
Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) will direct the series, which has no release date as of yet. A number of streaming services and broadcasters are considering picking up the series, which is supposedly one of the most expensive British productions ever made.