"In every child's nightmares, there's an element of truth", Mrs. Coulter warns us in a new teaser trailer for His Dark Materials... which then spends the following minute or so illustrating that concept.
Jump forward to 2019, and we've got a much better feeling about the new series, which has already been given the go-ahead for a second season before the first has even aired! His Dark Materials tells the story of Lyra Belacqua (Logan's Dafne Keen), a 12-year-old girl who lives in a parallel universe where a theocracy rules with an iron fist and human souls take the form of animal companions known as dæmons. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
An attempt to adapt Pullman's fantasy/sci-fi novels was made in 2007 with The Golden Compass.
Keen will be playing the main character Lyra with Lin Manuel-Miranda (Hamilton, Mary Poppins Returns) as Lee Scoresby, McAvoy as Lyra's uncle, Lord Asriel and Clarke Peters (The Wire) playing The Master who trains Lyra.
I do have issues with the show's dim lighting and muted colors: I'm not sure if Tom Hooper, who has directed Oscar-nominated but visually tiresome fare like Les Miserables and The King's Speech, could do justice to the sumptuous settings of Pullman's fantasy world.
HBO came on board last September as co-producer and distributor of the BBC fantasy drama series, based on Pullman's award-winning trilogy of books, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction.