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His Dark Materials - James McAvoy, Clarke Peters & Ruth Wilson to Star in BBC Adaptation

Update: Per Deadline's newest exclusive, The Affair's Ruth Wilson has been cast as Marisa Coulter in BBC's His Dark Materials adaptation.

Ruth Wilson is signing up to play Marisa Coulter, one of the main protagonists of the eight-part drama and the former lover of Lord Asriel, played by James McAvoy. The character is one of the main characters in the trilogy of novels written by Phillip Pullman, particularly The Amber Spyglass, the third novel, where the character is described as a beautiful 35-year old.


X-Men's James McAvoy and The Wire's Clarke Peters have been cast in starring roles in BBC's His Dark Materials adaptation. The eight-part series will begin production later this month. The King's Speech's Tom Hooper will direct the series that also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby and Dafne Keen as Lyra. BBC Worldwide has yet to secure an international distributor but streaming services Apple & Netflix are amongst the suitors for U.S. and global series rights to one of the most expensive British dramas per Deadline.

His Dark Materials is based upon Philip Pullman fantasy trilogy, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, a complex tale of physics, phiosophy 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.

McAvoy plays Lord Asriel, the ruthless adventurer who was played by Daniel Craig in 2007 feature The Golden Compass. Asriel is the father of main character Lyra, an orphan, who lives in a parallel universe, who is played by Logan star Dafne Keen. Meanwhile Peters, who recently starred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, plays the master who raises Lyra.


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