Dafne Keen first made a splash in Hollywood with her breakout performance as the badass X-23 in Logan, and now the young actress is tackling yet another role that requires a strong female heroine. Keen has joined BBC One's big adaptation of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials, which is finally coming together and amassing a lot of talent beyond the young rising star. Keen will play the novels' lead character Lyra, in what will be the second adaptation of the franchise.
His Dark Materials has long been a controversial trilogy of books, mainly for its criticism and parallels of modern religion. Dafne Keen's Lyra lives in a universe parallel to our world and finds herself entangled in a cosmic war between her uncle, Lord Asriel, and the first angel to come into existence, The Authority. Keen's Lyra goes on many adventures throughout the series of three books, Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, all of which will be portrayed in this eight-part series that's set to begin production in Wales soon.
The television adaptation of His Dark Materials will be helmed by famed director of The King's Speech, Tom Hooper. Deadline reported Hooper has long expressed an interest to direct the project, which had its television adaptation written back in 2015 by Wonder and National Treasure writer Jack Thorne. Dafne Keen's Lyra is the series' central character, although in the second book she is joined by a boy name Will, who also becomes a character of importance. No casting has been announced for Will, although one other big name has popped up in the casting that should show how serious The BBC is about making this series a major television event.
Dafne Keen will also be joined by Lin-Manuel Miranda in the television adaptation for His Dark Materials, and the Hamilton actor will play the aeronaut Lee Scoresby. Early on in the book trilogy, Scoresby interacts with Keen's Lyra by helping her travel to Svalbard, and then comes into play in a bigger way later on in the novels. Given the amount of star power that's already attached to the project, its likely many that are unfamiliar with the tale will be tuning in.
This television adaptation of His Dark Materials will be the second adaptation of the series in recent memory, as the movie The Golden Compass portrayed the events of the first book back in 2007. The film starred the likes of Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Christopher Lee and Sam Elliott, but was not received well by either critics or a general audience. The controversy surrounding the film's subject matter slightly played into that, but for the most part, critics said the film suffered from poor storytelling. Hopefully, that will not be the case with The BBC's television adaptation.
No word has been given as to when His Dark Materials will appear on BBC America, but with big names like Dafne Keen and Lin-Manuel Miranda signing on, more updates will come sooner rather than later. For some information on upcoming programming that will air in 2018, visit our midseason premiere guide.