His Dark Materials has added to its already sprawling cast, announcing that Amir Wilson will play Will Parry. The show is an adaptation of Philip Pullman's best-selling novels and is co-produced by HBO and BBC. Filming on the first season was only partway into production when BBC preemptively renewed the series for season 2. The first official His Dark Materials trailer was recently released, teasing a promisingly faithful adaptation of the popular source material, including some of the dark themes and shocking moments.
Helmed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), the show stars Dafne Keen (Logan) as Lyra Belacqua, an adventurous orphan who finds herself on an epic quest and beset by various threatening forces as she investigates the disappearance of a friend. Set in a world where people's souls exist outside of their bodies and take the form of animals, James McAvoy (IT Chapter Two) will also star as Lyra's Uncle Asriel. The rest of the cast, meanwhile, will be rounded out by Ruth Wilson (Luther), who plays the mysterious Mrs. Coulter, and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) as aëronaut Lee Scoresby.
Posted on the official His Dark Materials Twitter page, the casting announcement of Amir Wilson comes complete with a quote from the books and a photo of the young actor. The character of Will doesn't appear in the source material until book 2 of the original trilogy: The Subtle Knife. He plays an important role in the original, however, as a friend and trusted ally of Lyra. A master of the art of blending in and remaining hidden, he ultimately comes into possession of a rare and powerful knife that allows him to pass between worlds. As such, he will likely not appear on the show until the second season - barring any potential teases the show might include at the end of season 1.
The young actor has very few credits to his name. Following an uncredited part in The Kid Who Would Be King, Wilson is booked his first major role in a fresh adaptation of The Secret Garden. The film, which stars Colin Firth, was also written by Thorne. Posting on his own Twitter, he declared that experience of working with Wilson as the reason he will be perfect as the bearer of the knife.
As remains the case with every character taken from the page and brought to life, there will be those who deem the casting a failure to match the source material. Just ask Robert Pattinson, who will officially play Bruce Wayne in The Batman. For the most part, however, the news has been met with overwhelming praise. While there remains little evidence of Wilson's acting ability to draw an opinion from, the photo alone bears more than a passing resemblance to the character's curiosity, determination, and singular spirit. Given how well everything has looked and how perfect the casting has been thus far, there is little reason to doubt that Wilson will prove equally so.
His Dark Materials is expected to air on HBO and BBC later in 2019.
Source: His Dark Materials/Twitter