If you somehow haven’t heard, HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones is ending this weekend with its eighth season finale, but the premium network already has its next epic fantasy show lined up. His Dark Materials, which is based on Philip Pullman young adult series of the same name, is set to debut later this year, and the show’s first trailer hints that it’ll be just as dark and harrowing — if not quite as violent — as anything that the residents of Westeros served up.
His Dark Materials stars Logan‘s Dafne Keen as Lyra Belacqua, who lives in a world where polar bears wear armor, people’s souls live outside of their bodies in creatures known as Daemons, and a mysterious particle known as Dust holds the secret to unlimited power.
When Lyra’s friend Roger and a number of other children go missing, Lyra embarks on a journey that brings her in contact with her uncle Lord Asriel (fellow X-Men vet James McAvoy), a power-hungry socialite named Ms. Coulter (The Affair star Ruth Wilson), and Lee Scoresby, an adventurous hot air-balloonist played by Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The BBC started adapting His Dark Materials for television about four years ago alongside Bad Wolf, a production company founded by the same people responsible for BBC’s popular Doctor Who revamp. HBO signed on as co-producer in 2018.
While the trailer confirms reports that the eight-episode series will focus largely on Pullman’s first book, The Golden Compass (or, as it’s known overseas, Northern Lights), fans hoping for a complete adaptation of the story shouldn’t be too worried: His Dark Materials has already been renewed for a second season.
That already puts His Dark Materials ahead of the last attempt to put Pullman’s trilogy of novels on film. In 2007, New Line Cinema tried to capitalize on the box office success of The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series with a feature-length adaptation of The Golden Compass. Despite the combined star power of Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellan, and Eva Green and some surprising overseas success, the series stalled out after a single movie, leaving the story unfinished on the big screen.