Lin-Manuel Miranda (Lee Scoresby) and Dafne Keen (Lyra) took to controversially redesigned Twitter hours before they joined co-stars James McAvoy (Lord Asriel) and Ruth Wilson (Mrs. Coulter), executive producers Jane Tranter and Jack Thorne, and moderator / Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief JD Heyman for HBO and BBC One’s His Dark Materials panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con today. 

BBC One was tweeting early, too, sharing pics from the upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman‘s award-winning trilogy of young/adult novels. 

What we learned during the panel:

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda was a HUGE draw in his SDCC debut. His fanbase showed up for the panel, so let’s hope they show up for the show. 
  • Jack Thorne tried to “get a PhD” in the material for the adaptation- the same approach he took with Cursed Child.
  • Ruth Wilson finds her monkey daemon “particularly nasty,” while Dafne Keen calls her Pan the more sensible side of Lyra.
  • Puppeteers helped actors visualize the daemons and how they’d move.
  • Lin-Manuel was working on Mary Poppins Returns when approached about HDM. He said yes before getting any details about his part because he loves the books– he and his wife read them together when they were dating. (Aw!)
  • Lin-Manuel joked that he’s getting typecast as an outcast guy who flies balloons between these two projects.
  • There WILL be a second season!
  • If Philip Pullman wrote “adult books that children should read,” Jane Tranter hopes this is an adult TV show equivalent. 
  • Jane and Jack wrote 46 drafts of episode one!
  • The books came out before Dafne was born, if you want to (probably) feel old.
  • Neither Ruth nor Dafne had read the books before getting their parts.
  • James McAvoy was cast very last minute– just days before he began filming.
  • Jack calls this an “anti-superhero” story, as Lord Asriel would be the superhero, but it’s Lyra who is good. 
  • James says his “badass” “solitary” snow leopard daemon, Stelmaria, is voiced by Helen McCrory.

Quotable Quotes:

“Imagine a world where your soul lives outside your body…” – JD Heyman

“I thought it was time for the books to be liberated in a space that would do them justice.” – Jane Tranter

“They called her a cesspit of moral filth and I thought, ‘Okay, I have to play her.’” – Ruth Wilson

Primo Tweets:

The trailer you’ve been waiting for:

RELATED: Read all Geek Girl Authority’s San Diego Comic-Con coverage here!



Leona Laurie