Lin-Manuel Miranda geeks out on ‘His Dark Materials’

SAN DIEGO — Lin-Manuel Miranda says he agreed to being in the adaptation of His Dark Materials before he even knew what part he was being offered.

Miranda plays Lee Scoresby, a cowboy who flies hot air balloons and gets into bar fights, although he says he would have sharpened pencils to be part of the production.

He and his fellow castmates James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson debuted a trailer for the HBO and BBC series based on the Philip Pullman novels Thursday evening at Comic-Con in San Diego.

The big-budget 2007 feature film The Golden Compass also attempted to adapt Pullman’s material, but it was not well received by critics and disappointed at the box office.

“I thought it was time for the books to be liberated,” said producer Jane Tranter, who convinced New Line and Pullman to let her adapt them into a series.

She helped recruit Miranda to the project while he was in London filming Mary Poppins Returns and he had a very personal reason for feeling so passionately about the material.

“When my wife and I stated dating we read these books together,” Miranda said. “They’re in a really special place in my heart.”

The audience responded with a big “aw” to the story.

McAvoy, who plays Lord Asriel, was also a big fan of the material — so much so that he basically signed on in a single phone call from the casting director, who is a friend of his, just days before filming was set to begin.

Lyra actress Dafne Keen, on the other hand, didn’t know the source material when she booked the role. At just 14, she told the audience that it was because the books came out before she was born. But she tore through the three books and became a fan before production started.

But Miranda was by far the giddiest of the cast, excitedly asking permission to reveal his first scene.

“I literally come into this thing singing a duet with my demon, on a big hot air balloon, which was a fun way to enter the world,” Miranda said. “I can’t believe we get to go back to summer camp this summer for season two.”

HBO has yet to set a premiere date for the series.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta-registered truck elicits a note of kindness in British Columbia

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Alberta to expand COVID-19 testing

The Government of Alberta has announced it will expand COVID-19 testing to… Continue reading

Red Deer’s small fitness facilities limbering up for reopening

Al Parada has done everything in his power to stay busy. But… Continue reading

Post-pandemic offices could see some changes

Office designs encouraging more physical distancing could become the norm

WATCH: Central Albertans applaud efforts of Golden Circle staff, volunteers

Central Albertans thanked the Golden Circle Senior Resource Centre’s staff and volunteers… Continue reading

Economy can’t be restarted until COVID-19 assistance is sorted out

Bill Morneau is calling it the “safe restart.” The finance minister says… Continue reading

Count on the military for sound climate change advice

Re: “Global warming critics find themselves under attack,” Letter, May 26. I… Continue reading

Comment: Red Deer educator is wished a happy retirement

I just want to let everyone know of the retirement of my… Continue reading

Canadian-born goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh receives U.S. green card

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Canadian-born goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh has received his U.S.… Continue reading

Whyte, Marchant willing to wait one more year to cap their Olympic careers

TORONTO — Angela Whyte and Lanni Marchant hoped to write victorious final… Continue reading

Ai Weiwei says new security law is the end of Hong Kong

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei believes the… Continue reading

Rapper lethally targeted in brazen gunplay on downtown Toronto street

TORONTO — A brazen daylight ambush and shootout on a busy downtown… Continue reading

More hospitals part of plasma transfusion trial to treat COVID-19 with antibodies

More hospitals part of plasma transfusion trial to treat COVID-19 with antibodies

Most Read