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James McAvoy drops His Dark Materials season 3 hints

Lord Asriel will return to wage war following a surprise cameo at the end of season 2.

His Dark Materials
Published: Thursday, 17th June 2021 at 10:42 am

James McAvoy has dropped hints about the upcoming third season of His Dark Materials, adapted from the trilogy by author Philip Pullman.

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Season three, inspired by the third book The Amber Spyglass, will see McAvoy's character Lord Asriel wage "war on the Kingdom of Heaven" – and the actor has hinted at some incredible battle scenes to look out for.

Speaking on the BBC's The One Show ahead of his upcoming lockdown film Together, McAvoy confirmed that His Dark Materials season three was progressing well.

"Yeah, really good…” he said. “What can I tell you? It’s war. At the end of the second season we sort of declare war on the Kingdom of Heaven, so yeah, it gets pretty down and dirty, and there’s gonna be a lot of fisticuffs and a lot of explosions and all that stuff.

“But at its heart it’s about a wee girl and a wee boy… and not the adults with the egos.”

Lord Asriel was largely absent from season two (barring a surprise cameo in the final episode) after the BBC/HBO drama were forced to cut a special His Dark Materials episode starring James McAvoy due to COVID issues.

However, executive producers Jane Tranter, Dan McCulloch and Jack Thorne worked round the clock in order to realise and shoot Lord Asriel's surprise cameo scene during the pandemic.

“We couldn’t film the standalone Lord Asriel episode because of lockdown, but we really wanted to include him in the season,” Tranter told RadioTimes.com exclusively.

“VFX became our new weapon and James came in and shot a final scene giving a rallying cry as Lord Asriel in total secrecy.”

"When we lost Asriel's standalone episode we were heartbroken and had to change how the show would work,” screenwriter Thorne added.

“We wanted to do justice to the story of Asriel that we heard so much about from the other characters, and the thought occurred – from Jane Tranter – to use part of a speech that I'd already written for him at the very end of our show.”

Read more about the His Dark Materials cast, the His Dark Materials release schedule, the His Dark Materials books and the His Dark Materials age rating, plus find out where His Dark Materials is filmed, including the scenes set in Cittàgazze.

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His Dark Materials seasons 1 & 2 are now streaming on BBC iPlayer. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide. Check out our Sci-Fi and Fantasy hubs for all the latest news.

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