When “Game of Thrones” rocked television with its first season in 2011, it was clear that it would change the medium. The story was ambitious and large, better suited for the world of blockbuster movies at the time. Yet the choice to go with television allowed the series to stretch and become something far grander. Since then, the “blockbuster television” trend has continued to grow. With “Lord of the Rings” finding its way to Amazon, “Stranger Things” at Netflix, and “Westworld” at HBO, this trend will continue for some time. Now BBC One is constructing their own epic based on a popular novel series, with “His Dark Materials,” by Phillip Pullman.
According to Deadline, actor Ariyon Bakare has been cast to play Lord Boreal in the series. Boreal is one of the antagonists for the series but does not make that jump until “The Subtle Knife,” the second book. This adds Bakare to an all-star cast shaping up around the project, including James McAvoy, Daphne Keen, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Ruth Wilson. The project clearly has some weight behind it, with other actors circling key roles.
“His Dark Materials” is one of the more interesting fantasy stories in modern times. Pullman’s work was a response to the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and other fantasy literature that based itself on Christian ideology. It is also heavily influenced by John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” and can be read as a retelling of that story. There have been efforts to adapt the series before. 2007 saw the release of “The Golden Compass,” which won an Oscar for Visual Effects. Apparently, Apple and Netflix are looking to gain US rights to the show, meaning this will be something to keep an eye on for the future.