BBC One is to adapt Philip Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy of novels His Dark Materials into a new series. The ambitious project will be produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema, and will be filmed in Wales.
His Dark Materials consists of Northern Lights (1995, The Golden Compass in America), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000).
The series follows two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they travel through various parallel universes and meet a host of fantastical creatures including witches and armoured polar bears. It has drawn criticism for its negative portrayal of Christianity and other religions.
Pullman said: “It’s been a constant source of pleasure to me to see this story adapted to different forms and presented in different media. It’s been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel – and now comes this version for television.
“In recent years we’ve seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations (Game of Thrones) or original (The Sopranos, The Wire), can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel.
“And the sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I’m delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials. I’m especially pleased at the involvement of Jane Tranter, whose experience, imagination and drive are second to none. As for the BBC, it has no stronger supporter than me. I couldn’t be more pleased with this news.”
Nicholas Hytner previously made a stage production of His Dark Materials for the National Theatre in 2003 to 2004.
Two years later, a film adaptation of the first book titled The Golden Compass starred Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra. Sequels made from the second and third books in the series were shelved due to the disappointing financial performance of the film.