In an unusual move, BBC has ordered a second series for His Dark Materials. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you’re not alone, the first series hasn’t aired yet. In fact, they haven’t even finished shooting it yet. The show is based on a trilogy of books by Phillip Pullman, the first book in the series, Northern Lights was adapted into a feature film back in 2007 called The Golden Compass.
The film was made in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Young Adult fantasy novels like The Chronicles of Narnia, but failed to gain any traction, the movie made $372 million, but with a production budget of $180 million, the studio did not feel confident enough to continue the series.
BBC, on the other hand, seems to feel confident enough in their series that they don’t even need to see the first episode of their show. According to Deadline, this series will most likely end up being the most expensive scripted series to come out of British television and considering the names attached, that’s not entirely surprising.
The show will star James McAvoy and Dafne Keen who have both had large roles in the X-Men universe. Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Georgina Campbell, Anne-Marie Duff, Ian Gelder, and Will Keen, Dafne Keen’s father will also have a role on the show. The series is being produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema and the series author, Phillip Pullman will be one of several Executive Producers.
It’s currently unknown how the series will adapt the books. Will the first series be a direct adaptation of Northen Lights with the second series covering The Subtle Knife leaving a potential third series for the final book? Maybe that ties into why BBC felt they should jump the gun on ordering the second series.
Whatever the case is, this series is sure to be one to keep an eye on. There’s no date currently set for the premiere, but with them having just started to film earlier in September, we’re probably looking at either the Summer or Fall of 2019 before we see it hit the screens.