HBO's His Dark Materials lights up Comic-Con with a new trailer

X-Men's Professor X and X-23 team up for more high-fantasy at SDCC 2019.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset

Lyra (played by Dafne Keen) and her extremely cute pal, Pan.


We last saw Dafne Keen poking holes in people as X-23 in Logan. Now she's at Comic-Con with high-fantasy TV series His Dark Materials, based on Philip Pullman's beloved book trilogy. Fans of the books will know protagonist Lyra is just as scrappy as X-23, and fans of Keen will cheer at the latest trailer that lit up San Diego.

The trailer takes us from a Victorian-ish Oxford to the cold of Svalbard, and introduces characters like Iorek Byrnison, an exiled armored bear, and Lee Scoresby, an aeronaut played by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The story follows Lyra as she learns of her ability to read a truth-telling device called the Alethiometer. Children are disappearing, and it has something to do with a war between The Magisterium and "Those willing to fight for truth and freedom."

James McAvoy, who was also at Comic-Con representing It: Chapter 2, was recently seen staring intently as Professor X in Dark Phoenix. Here, he plays scholar and explorer Lord Asriel, while Ruth Wilson is at her steeliest and most cunning as Mrs Coulter, Lyra's antagonist. Well, part-antagonist. It's complicated.

HBO is on board to distribute the BBC-commissioned series internationally, and this trailer confirms it'll arrive this fall.

Director Otto Bathurst, who also directed several episodes of the first season of Peaky Blinders, suggested this adaptation of the books will be more accessible to modern viewers not totally up to speed with the series' Victorian sensibilities. Crack open the Tokay, we're ready for it.

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