HBO’s Star-Studded ‘His Dark Materials’ Adaptation Finally Has a Premiere Date

Photo: His Dark Materials: Season 1 (Image Courtesy of HBO)
Photo: His Dark Materials: Season 1 (Image Courtesy of HBO)

Fantasy fans can breathe easy, we finally have a U.S. release date for the star-studded television adaptation of Philip Pullman’s bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy.

The series will begin on HBO in just a little over a month, premiering on Monday, November 4 at 9pm.

The first season of His Dark Materials will adapt the first novel in the trilogy, The Golden Compass, though its not clear yet whether the events of that story will carry over into the series’ already-confirmed second season. (Fun fact: The original novel was called The Northern Lights in the U.K., but the title was changed for its American release.) It boats a ridiculous amount of impressive stars, including James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Ruth Wilson as the villainous Mrs. Coulter, and everyone’s favorite Lin-Manuel Miranda as aeronaut Lee Scoresby.

The story itself, however, follows the journey of a young girl named Lyra, played by breakout Logan star Dafne Keen, who lives in a sort of Victorian alternate reality where science, theology and magic are entwined. There are witches and armored polar bears and adorable creatures called “daemons”, who are basically pieces of human souls that take animal forms and exist in tandem with their other halves.

Though its plot is ridiculously difficult to summarize succinctly His Dark Materials is immensely popular, with the original novels having sold over 17 million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 different languages. But it’s a much deeper kids’ series than you might expect. The trilogy deals with extremely heavy topics, particularly as concerns issues of religion. (Pullman is famously anti-organized religion and dislikes the Catholic Church in particular.) But the story is textured and imaginative, and pretty much made to have a prestige television show made about it.

Are you planning to give His Dark Materials a try? Or are you still feeling too burned by the (flop) 2007 film? Let’s discuss in the comments.