The full cast for the BBC’s ambitious TV adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials has finally been revealed.
Many of the cast have been rumoured and hinted at, but now the main cast joining young star Dafne Keen as Lyra has now been confirmed.
Filming is also underway on the BBC1 drama, which has been adapted from the novels by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne.
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James McAvoy had previously been revealed as Lord Asriel, but now we know that The Affair’s Ruth Wilson will join him as the magnetic and dangerous Mrs Coulter.
Lin-Manuel Miranda meanwhile will play aeronaut and adventurer Lee Scoresby, while Game of Thrones’ James Cosmo will play elderly Gyptian Farder Coram.
The rumors are true.
I'm headed back to ???????? for a couple of months.
Via hot air balloon.
With my daemon Hester in tow…
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) July 27, 2018
Author Philip Pullman said he was “delighted” that production was underway, adding that producers Bad Wolf had assembled a “wonderful cast”.
Stars including The Wire’s Clarke Peters, Black Mirror’s Georgina Campbell and Anne-Marie Duff also join the cast as the Master of Jordan College, journalist Adele Starminster and Ma Costa respectively.
The Crown’s Will Keen (Dafne’s father) will play Father MacPhail, a mysterious man whom Lyra meets at a London society party. Joining him there is Ariyon Bakare as Lord Boreal.
Completing the main cast of Gyptians are Lucien Msamati as John Faa, Mat Fraser as Raymond Van Geritt, Geoff Bell as Jack Verhoeven, and Simon Manyonda as Benjamin de Ruyter.
Daemon Pantalaimon will be played by young actor Archie Barnes, alongside Lewin Lloyd as Roger Parslow, Daniel Frogson as Tony Costa and Tyler Howitt.
However, while the extensive cast list does cover off many of the major characters, eagle-eyed fans of the books may notice that witch Serafina Pekkala, introduced in Northern Lights and a key figure in the trilogy, does not feature on the BBC’s cast list.
Screenwriter Thorne, who has adapted the books for screen, said the actors involved were “the cast of dreams”, and thanked director Tom Hooper and production designer Joel Collins.
“His Dark Materials are the most beautiful set of books, taking us into a world of constant imagination. Reading them I was a massive fan, in adapting them I’ve increasingly felt in awe of them,” he said.
He added, “It’s the constant invention, the way the story never sits still, and that the characters constantly surprise you. It’s been a joy being part of a creative team for this; from Tom’s incredible analytic mind and amazing eye, to Joel’s beautiful world building, to everyone else involved. And then there’s the cast, which has proved to be the cast of dreams, we are so lucky to have been able to entice them in.”
Filming has begun on the series in Cardiff at Wolf Studios Wales, although an air date has yet to be confirmed.