James McAvoy has signed on to the BBC's adaptation of Philip Pullman's epic fantasy series His Dark Materials. The star of X-Men and Atomic Blonde will join Clarke Peters (The Wire), Dafne Keen (Logan) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), who have already been cast along with director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) and writer Jack Thorne (National Treasure) on the project. The eight-part series is being produced by Bad Wolf and is expected to begin filming later this month.
It's a coming of age story about Lyra (Keen), a young orphan, and her dæmon Pantalaimon, who witness the master of the school she attends (Peters) try and poison her mysterious and powerful uncle Lord Asriel (McAvoy) because of his research into 'Dust', mysterious elementary particles that are the key to a parallel universe. The story follows Lyra and Will on an adventures that takes them through multiple worlds and brings them in contact with everything from witches to armor polar bears.
The series consists of three books Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. In 2007, the first book was adapted into a film called The Golden Compass which starred Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellen, Eva Green, and Sam Elliot.
His Dark Materials will air on BBC One and is still looking to make a distribution deal for U.S. and global rights. It's believed that Netflix and Apple are among the top suitors.