Andrew Scott has been cast in HBO series His Dark Materials as mysterious explorer Stanislaus Grumman, who is also a tribal shaman known as Jopari. The fantasy series, based on the trilogy of YA novels of the same name by British author Philip Pullman, will release its first season later this year around Christmastime, and has already been renewed for a second season.
Grumman is introduced in the second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife. The principal plotline of the novel involves protagonist Lyra and her new friend Will traveling to a world haunted by specters that are lethal to adults and adolescents but invisible and harmless to children, as they try to learn what happened to Will’s father and why people were investigating him. Grumman, meanwhile encounters swashbuckling aëronaut (airship captain) Lee Scoursby, who is searching for the titular object of power with the intention of using it to protect Lyra, after having developed a paternal affection for the girl.
The announcement of Andrew Scott as John Parry was made via a tweet posted the official Twitter account of His Dark Materials. It shows Scott with Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoursby in their first meeting in The Subtle Knife, whereupon the pair begin their search for the one who wields the blade that can cut though anything, including the fabric between dimensions, in the overarching struggle against an oppressive theocratic regime whose power holds sway over the lives of everyone in the world.
Scott is best known for his appearance in the BBC’s update of Sherlock that starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous detective, wherein Scott portrayed a highly camp but still menacing and dangerous interpretation of Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty. More recently he was seen as the Priest – or as he was more commonly known in the fandom, the Hot Priest – in the second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s eminently quotable tragicomedy Fleabag; as MI6 director C in the most recent James Bond outing Spectre; and the latest season of Black Mirror in the episode “Smithereens,” which acted as a parable on the distracting nature of social media and people’s overreliance on it.
The BBC ordering a second season of His Dark Materials before the first one has even begun airing shows how confident the corporation is in the success of its investment. Andrew Scott is only the latest in a litany of talented character actors populating the series, and given what is later revealed about Grumman and his role in the story subsequently becoming more significant, it will doubtless lead to some poignant scenes the actor is well equipped to handle.
Source: His Dark Materials