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His Dark Materials' New Teaser Is Monumentally Awesome

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Lyra and Pantalaimon are coming to HBO.
Lyra and Pantalaimon are coming to HBO.
Photo: HBO

We’ve seen bits and pieces of the show so far, but HBO just released a full trailer for the highly anticipated new series His Dark Materials, and it looks like everything fans of the books could have wanted and more.

Based on the novels by Philip Pullman, the co-production between BBC and HBO is directed by Oscar winner Tom Hooper and stars Logan’s Dafne Keen as Lyra, Ruth Wilson as Marisa Coulter, James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, just to name a few.

Non-fans probably know the story as The Golden Compass, which was the name of Pullman’s first book in the trilogy when it was released in North America. It was even made into a big budget movie but it didn’t quite connect with audiences.


This adaptation, though, has already been renewed for a second season, and even with this first teaser, clearly has some major differences from the movie.

For example, as our resident His Dark Materials expert Beth Elderkin noted, “the trailer ends on an image of Lord Asriel, next to an empty cage, looking up at the Aurora Borealis—something that doesn’t happen until the end of the first book, The Golden Compass. The original 2007 movie received some well-deserved criticism with its choice to cut out early, ending the film with Lyra and her friend Roger heading North together and removing the powerful but heartbreaking true ending from the novel. By including this shot, the teaser feels like it’s sending a message that this adaptation is going to stay much closer to the original series than its cinematic predecessor. Let’s just hope that includes the heavy religious themes, which were also ignored in the movie, as those were a major part too.”


Unfortunately, the new teaser doesn’t tell us when the show is coming. Just “soon.” We fully expect to see it before the end of the year though and between this and Watchmen, HBO certainly has some exciting follow-ups to that other fantasy series they’re losing.

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