Black Mirror’s Georgina Campbell, Shameless’ Anne-Marie Duff and Games of Thrones’ Ian Gelder have all signed on to star in BBC One fantasy drama His Dark Materials. The trio have joined the cast of the Bad Wolf show, which has begun filming in Cardiff.
Campbell plays journalist Adele Starminster, Gelder stars as Librarian Scholar Charles and Duff plays a boat dwelling Gyptian, alongside James Cosmo, Lucien Msamati, Mat Fraser, Jack Verhoeven and Benjamin de Ruyter.
Wolf Hall star Will Keen, father of leading actress Dafne Keen, plays Father MacPhail.
The full cast was confirmed after Deadline broke the news of Keen’s performance, as well as that of The Affair star Ruth Wilson and director Tom Hooper’s involvement. As previously reported, X-Men and Atomic Blonde star James McAvoy and The Wire’s Clarke Peters are also on board alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Talented young actors also joining the cast include Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson, Tyler Howitt and Archie Barnes.
Hooper will be lead director of the big-budget adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic and helm the first two episodes with Dawn Shadforth (Trust) directing an episode and Peaky Blinders’ Otto Bathurst directing two.
The show is written by National Treasure and Wonder writer Jack Thorne. It is based on Pullman’s trilogy of books: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, a complex tale of physics, philosophy and theology featuring witches and armored polar bears. It tells the story of two children, Lyra and Will, who wander through a series of parallel universes.
His Dark Materials is produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema for BBC One in association with BBC Studios Distribution and Anton Capital Entertainment, S.C.A. The series will be filmed in Cardiff at Wolf Studios Wales.
It will be exec produced by Pullman, Thorne, Tranter, Gardner, Dan McCulloch, Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line; Piers Wenger and Ben Irving for BBC One and Deborah Forte for Scholastic.
Bad Wolf and distributor BBC Worldwide have also been talking to a number of international broadcasters and streaming services about the project, which is thought to be one of the most expensive British dramas to date. Apple and Netflix are among the suitors for the U.S. and global rights. Endeavor Content co-reps North American rights with BBC Worldwide.
Pullman said, “I’m delighted that the production is under way, and I’m looking forward immensely to seeing how it looks. Bad Wolf has assembled a wonderful cast and I’m sure every HDM reader is as keen as I am to see it all coming together.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added, “The vast, complex and deeply imaginative landscape of Philip’s novels requires a world class but quintessentially British band of creatives to bring them to life. The BBC is proud and privileged to be the host to such visionaries. Thank you to Jane, Jack, Dan, Joel and Tom and of course to Philip for entrusting us with their work and sharing the journey of seeing His Dark Materials come to life”.
Tranter said, “The calibre of our cast and directors is a testament to the brilliance of Jack Thorne’s scripts and also the sheer bravura, depth and imagination of Philip Pullman’s original novels. Our determination is to sound every note of the books in a series that will fully explore the many worlds and concepts in Philip’s work. Bad Wolf has assembled a world class production team at Wolf Studios Wales in Cardiff who will bring Philip’s incredible works to life for a whole new audience.”