The BBC has lined up its star for its upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel, The Golden Compass: Logan star Dafne Keen, reports Deadline (via io9). The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper will also helm the 8-part series.
The fantasy novel follows the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, a child from an alternate world in which people’s souls physically manifest as shape-shifting animals called daemons. Keen is best known for her role in last year’s X-Men film, Logan, where she played X-23, a young, cloned version of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. She’ll play Lyra, the main character in the novel, who sets off into the arctic to search for a kidnapped friend, and discovers a larger threat involving a the nature of a mysterious phenomenon known as Dust.
Bad Wolf Studios, founded by the UK executives behind the BBC’s Doctor Who and Torchwood, is producing the show, with Wonder and Harry Potter & The Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne writing the series. Deadline notes that the show will be distributed by the BBC in the UK, and that Apple and Netflix have expressed an interest in the US and global rights for the show.
The novel, first published in the UK under the title Northern Lights, and its sequels The Subtle Knife, and the Amber Spyglass are a powerful trilogy that blend theology, quantum physics, and an examination of totalitarianism. Last year, Pullman published the first installment of a long-awaited sequel, The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage. New Line Cinemas adapted the first novel with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone director Christopher Columbus in an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of fantasy films following the successes of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, only for audiences and critics to widely pan the film.