HBO's His Dark Materials trailer reveals next sprawling fantasy epic

Lula Sharp
May 18, 2019

This is it. This could be the screen adaptation that could finally do justice to Philip Pullman's rich, complex fantasy trilogy full of ideas about alternate dimensions and universe-spanning battles with religious deities. Check it out in the player below!

James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda star alongside Keen as Uncle Asriel, Mrs. Coulter, and Lee Scoresby respectively.

According to HBO, "the first season follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but courageous young woman from another world". Lyra's search for a missing friend uncovers an evil plot involving stolen children and turns into a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and risky secrets, with the fate of both the living - and the dead - in their hands.

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Move over, Game of Thrones. Cast also includes Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, father of young lead Dafne Keen, Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda as well as young actors Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson and Tyler Howitt.

I do have issues with the show's dim lighting and muted colors: I'm not sure if Tom Hooper, who has directed Oscar-nominated but visually boring fare like Les Miserables and The King's Speech, could do justice to the sumptuous settings of Pullman's fantasy world.

As Vinnie Mancuso wrote regarding the last trailer, "His Dark Materials takes place in a Victorian-inspired alternate reality in which humans live side by side with the living embodiments of their souls, known as daemons". Dawn Shadforth, Otto Bathurst, Euros Lyn, and Jamie Childs will direct the remaining episodes of the second season.

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