If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
In the case of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic “His Dark Materials,” it looks like if a feature film doesn’t work, then you move on to an 8-part series. According to a report by Deadline, the classic fantasy series is being adapted into a multi-part television series, and from the names mentioned as involved, it’s shaping up to be must-see TV.
Director Tom Hooper, perhaps best known as the award-winning filmmaker behind “The King’s Speech,” has signed on to direct the 8-part series for BBC One. Joining Hooper is none other than breakout “Logan” star Dafne Keene and “Hamilton” superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“His Dark Materials” tells the story of Lyra (Keene), an orphan, who along with another child named Will, travel through a series of parallel universes, having adventures along the way. Miranda will play adventurer Lee Scoresby. The series is scripted by “National Treasure” and “Wonder” writer Jack Thorne, and produced by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner’s Bad Wolf, in association with New Line Cinema.
While the series is being developed for BBC One in Britain, the distribution rights for the rest of the world are very much still up in the air. Deadline says that there are many different suitors, hoping to release the series, with Apple and Netflix leading the list.
This series marks the second time that Pullman’s fantasy epic was adapted for the screen. Back in 2007, “The Golden Compass” was released, starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. Despite the famous source material, and a strong cast, the film was a flop, and any plans for sequels were quickly scrapped. However, as fans of the series know, “His Dark Materials” is a rich story, on par with “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and it was only a matter of time before studios took another stab at the series.
No word on a release date, yet, but Hooper is also signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of the musical “Cats.” So, perhaps this series will be a little further down the line than fans are hoping.