His Dark Materials image - Phillip Pullman

His Dark Materials signs director Tom Hooper and Logan alum Dafne Keen, in talks with Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Mar 8, 2018, 8:23 PM EST (Updated)

BBC One has found a director and lead actress for their big-budget series based on Philip Pullman's fantasy epic His Dark Materials. The series is currently planned for eight installments, and is said to be the most expensive British drama to date.

According to Deadline. Jack Thorne (Wonder, Skins) is writing the script for the entire series, and Tom Hooper, who won the 2011 Best Director Oscar for The King's Speech, has signed on to direct. Dafne Keen, the young girl who played Laura (aka X-23) in Logan, has also signed on to play Lyra, the female star of the film. Meanwhile, EW reports that Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda is also close to signing on for the role of balloonist and adventurer Lee Scoresby. 

The His Dark Materials series consists of three novels: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. The coming of age story follows two orphans, Lyra and Will, as they move between parallel universes. Lyra comes from a parallel world and is the mischievous one, while Will, from our world, is sensible and responsible. The children have daemons, a physical manifestation of a person's "inner being."


Dafne Keen in Logan (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

The first book was made into a film, The Golden Compass, in 2007. It was meant to compete with another young adult fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, which was released in 2005. His Dark Materials is often seen as critical of Christianity, while the Narnia series embraces the religion. However, The Golden Compass stripped out all mention of religion in order to appeal to a broader audience. Director Chris Weitz insisted that the religious aspects not be stripped out of the planned sequels, but the sequels have since been scrapped.

BBC One's adaptation has been in development since 2015, and was initially planned to release in the fall of 2017. In an interview with Radio Times, Thorne said that the series has been delayed. "The most important thing is being loyal to the books, and trying to tell those books as well as we possibly can,” he said.

Do you think they're on the right track by signing Hooper, Keen, and possibly Miranda?