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10th Jun 2018

James McAvoy teams up with one of The Wire’s best actors for His Dark Materials TV show

A star-studded cast and crew will make another go of Philip Pullman's books

Dave Hanratty

A star-studded cast and crew will make another go of Philip Pullman’s books

X-Man James McAvoy has signed up for a key role in the forthcoming BBC adaption of His Dark Materials, a new eight-part series based on Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic of the same name.

Part one of the trilogy was previously adapted for the big screen as The Golden Compass in 2007 with Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and some really dodgy CGI polar bears…

Clip via LeGrandeBoss

Audiences weren’t exactly thrilled, nor were critics – The Golden Compass currently boasts a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – and though the film made money – $372 million from a $180 million budget – the project felt dead on arrival and that was that.

Until now.

Deadline reports that James McAvoy has signed up for the role previously inhabited by Craig; that of Lord Asriel, ruthless adventurer and father of main character Lyra; an orphan who lives in a parallel universe.

In this version, Lyra will be portrayed by Dafne Keen, who rather stole the show from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in last year’s superb Logan.

They’ll be joined by Clarke Peters, who fans of The Wire will know and love from his excellent turn as the cool, calm and collected Lester Freamon. Peters will play the master responsible for raising Lyra.

Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech fame is on board to direct the BBC series, which also features Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda.

That’s some serious star power for the small screen and hopefully further proof that the golden age of television is still going strong.

And speaking of James McAvoy, this Twitter-based observation from earlier this week sure is something…