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SYFY WIRE His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials' James McAvoy and Lin-Manuel Miranda on being fans from way back

By Nivea Serrao
His Dark Materials Lord Asriel and Lee Scoresby Episode Stills Edited Together

Adapting any piece of work requires an almost fan-like dedication to the source material, especially as the people judging your adaptation are other fans. 

Luckily for His Dark Materials, a few of the HBO show's cast members are also huge fans of Philip Pullman's best-selling book trilogy, and so are more than well aware of what it means to be bringing these characters to life — as you can see in SYFY WIRE's exclusive clip below, from one of the extras featured on the upcoming home entertainment release of the show's first season. 

"His Dark Materials is one of my favorite book series of all time," says Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Mary Poppins Returns), who plays Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby on the show. "I read it with my wife when she was still my girlfriend. We'd started dating and it was one of those trilogies we read together." 

Author Philip Pullman's writing apparently really resonated with Miranda, as he adds, "It's such a beautiful coming of age story and such a beautiful world. It's so smart and full." 

And of course, as the clip reveals, he's not the only one with a deep connection to the trilogy. James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class, Audible's Sandman audio drama adaptation), who plays the explorer Lord Asriel on the show, has kept up with every adaptation of the trilogy. 

"I've read it three times, I think," says the It Chapter 2 actor. "I've listened to the audiobook twice. I've listened to the BBC radio adaptation. I'm a massive fan." 

The first season of His Dark Materials adapted The Golden Compass, the first book in the trilogy, with the second season set to bring the next one, The Subtle Knife, to the small screen — though as fans will recall, a few key scenes from it have already aired. As mentioned during the show's panel at Comic-Con@Home this year, filming has been completed for the upcoming season, so the show's on track to return this fall.

And that's not all fans can look forward to as Season 2 draws near. There will also be a new His Dark Materials novella by Pullman published this October. Titled Serpentine, the story is set after the trilogy and will see Lyra (Dafne Keen) once again travel north in order to solve the mystery of what's happening to her and her daemon Pantalaimon. 

His Dark Materials will return for a second season later this fall on HBO. Serpentine hits bookshelves Oct. 15. His Dark Materials: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 4.