'His Dark Materials': Release date, plot, cast, trailer, and everything you need to know about the fantasy adventure series

'His Dark Materials': Release date, plot, cast, trailer, and everything you need to know about the fantasy adventure series

It might seem like a sad time for fantasy lovers with the (rather disappointing) end to 'Game of Thrones'. Still, Neil Gaiman's 'Good Omens' is scheduled to take over the slot come May 31, 2019. But if you don't like your fantasy with an ample side of humor, HBO has something in store for you. It looks like the network is trying to cushion the blow of 'Game of Thrones' exiting the television market with a TV adaptation for Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials', which is co-produced with the BBC. 

'Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' is a fantasy adventure series for TV based on the novel of the same name. The epic book trilogy follows the coming of age of two children on their adventures through a series of parallel universes.

Pullman's book has been adapted before — the first book in the trilogy was adapted as the 2007 film 'The Golden Compass', which starred Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellan, and Sam Elliot.

Release date

HBO announced September 12 that the show will air November 4.



'His Dark Materials' is a television adaptation of the epic trilogy fantasy novels written by Philip Pullman. The trilogy is made of 'Northern Lights' (which was published as 'The Golden Compass' in America'), 'The Subtle Knife', and 'The Amber Spyglass'.


The book trilogy follows two children Lyra Belacqua (played by Dafne Keen) and Will Parry, on their adventures through a series of parallel adventures.

While the book has seen a feature film adaptation in 2007 with 'The Golden Compass', the film opened to mixed reviews with critics pointing out that the pace of the film was rushed. The first season of the new television series is what made the 2007 feature film. Well, then that solves the problem that critics had the first time around — that the book was too much to fit in a feature film.


Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua

Actress Dafne Keen, winner of the Best Female Newcomer award, poses in the winners room at the Rakuten TV EMPIRE Awards 2018 at The Roundhouse on March 18, 2018, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Keen essays the role of Pullman's heroine in 'His Dark Materials' of Lyra Belacqua. But the British and Spanish actress is best known for playing the mutant Laura Kinney/ X-23 in 'Logan' opposite Hugh Jackman. 

Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter

Ruth Wilson attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2019 at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Wilson plays the role of Marisa Coulter, one of the main antagonists. She also happens to be a former lover of Lord Asriel. The actress is known for her performances in 'Suburban Shootout', 'Jane Eyre', 'Luther' among others. 

Wilson was nominated for the Olivier Award three times, winning two — Best Actress for her role in 'Anna Christie', and the Best Supporting Actress for her role of Stella Kowalski in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.


James McAvoy as Lord Asriel

James McAvoy attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019, in Beverly Hills, California. (Getty Images)

As Lord Asriel, McAvoy plays one of the major characters in 'His Dark Materials'. Asriel is a member of the aristocracy in a parallel universe that is dominated by the Church. McAvoy is best known for playing the faun Mr. Tumnus in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'. For his performance in 'The Last King of Scotland', he won several award nominations, including the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. For his work on the critically acclaimed romantic drama war film 'Atonement', he earned a Golden Globe Award nomination and his second BAFTA nomination. 


Based on the book written by Philip Pullman


Author Philip Pullman unveils his 'Find Your Daemon' Christmas trail and exhibition at London Zoo on December 17, 2004, in London. The exhibition is based on "His Dark Materials" trilogy of books, helps visitors to the zoo find their own daemon. (Getty Images)


Written by Jack Thorne

Jack Thorne with the award for Best New Play for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in the winners room at The Olivier Awards 2017 at Royal Albert Hall on April 9, 2017, in London, England. (Getty Images)

Thorne started his television writing career with 'Shameless' and 'Skins', then went on to write 'Cast Offs', 'Glue', 'The Last Panthers' and 'Kiri'. He is perhaps best known for writing the stage play for 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', which was based on an original story by Thorne, JK Rowling, and John Tiffany. The play won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2017 and in 2018, won the Tony Award for Best Play.


The television series is being produced by New Line Cinema and Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner of Bad Wolf for BBC One and HBO, which is co-producing both the seasons and handling international distribution. The eight-part series is scheduled to premiere later this year and BBC has committed to an eight-episode second season already. 


You can watch the first teaser trailer of 'His Dark Materials' here:


In the chilling trailer for 'His Dark Materials', an eerie Mrs. Coulter tells Lyra "Now is the time to choose a side." The eight episodes will tell Lyra's story in 'Northern Lights' and another eight-episode season as the second part will both be directed by Jack Thorne.

Where to watch

While there are no dates out yet, the fantasy adventure series is set to premiere later this year.  


If you liked this, you'll love these

'The Golden Compass'

'Oz and the Great Powerful' 

'The Chronicles of Narnia'

'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children'

'The Harry Potter series'

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