A new His Dark Materials teaser trailer has been released for the upcoming adaptation. Based on the trilogy of novels by Philip Pullman, the eight-episode BBC series is set to be co-produced and distributed by HBO. Fans caught their first glimpse of the show with a His Dark Materials teaser back in February, but this trailer is a far more comprehensive look at what’s to come.
Pullman’s epic trilogy consists of three novels, The Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. His Dark Materials takes place in a parallel universe in which humans are accompanied by daemons, a talking animal that is a physical manifestation of the person’s soul. The first book focuses on Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon, as they search for her friend Roger and soon discover that he is one of many children who has gone missing. She struggles to unravel the mystery of something known only as Dust while navigating a world on the verge of a celestial war. Pullman’s rich, complex narrative is populated by witches, aëronauts and highly intelligent armored bears. Known better in the U.S. as The Golden Compass, the trilogy’s first installment was already adapted for the big screen once in 2007, although it wasn’t particularly well received by fans or critics.
The show’s trailer has been released by HBO, granting viewers a better idea of what they can expect from His Dark Materials. With stunning visuals, the trailer introduces all of the major players, as well as their daemons. It even shows a glimpse of the Panserbjørn and finishes with a shot that the film adaptation chose to avoid, in an effort to give the movie a happy ending - a decision that fans of the book were largely unhappy with. Perhaps this scene was included in an effort to establish early on that this adaptation won’t shy away from the book’s controversial themes the way that the film did. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t give a release date, only revealing that the show is “coming soon.”
His Dark Materials has an impressive cast, beginning with Logan star Daphne Keen as Lyra Belacqua. Her uncle, Lord Asriel, will be portrayed by fellow X-Men star, James McAvoy. Ruth Wilson plays the villainous Mrs. Coulter and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) will act as aëronaut Lee Scoresby. The project will be helmed by The King’s Speech director, Tom Hooper and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child scribe, Jack Thorne, is penning the adaptation. BBC already renewed the series for a second season while the first was still in production.
With the film version leaving so many fans hoping for a more faithful adaptation, there is certainly pressure on this project. It would appear that the BBC has a lot of faith in the series, considering another eight episodes were ordered before the first eight even aired. There is so much talent behind-the-scenes, as well as in front of the camera, and even Pullman himself has agreed that television is a far better medium for telling this story. Aside from how much of the author's message was muted in the movie, its runtime was never long enough to convey the complexity of these novels. This footage suggests not only that the show will be true to the source material, but also features some pretty spectacular shots that bring Pullman’s world to brilliant life. While it is true that it’s difficult to get too much of a read from a trailer alone, it’s safe to say that this sneak peek will continue the mounting excitement for His Dark Materials.