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His Dark Materials: New Trailer Debuts At San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Are you ready to enter a world unlike any other?

During the upcoming series' panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, HBO released a new trailer for its highly anticipated fantasy show His Dark Materials, an adaptation of Philip Pullman's iconic novel trilogy of the same name. 

Starring Logan breakout actress Dafne Keen as Lyra, a brave girl who lives with professors at Oxford's Jordan College, His Dark Materials tells a tale of magic and mystery as Lyra connects a string of kidnappings that involve one of her dear friends to a larger plot and a sin-sparking substance known as Dust. James McAvoy portrays Lord Asriel while Ruth Wilson plays Mrs. Marisa Coulter, two characters who are entangled in a secret that Lyra stumbles upon that leads her to a journey across several realities. 

Things in Lyra's world, one alternate to our own in which every human has an animal companion called a dæmon that serves as the embodiment of their soul and spirit, become even more unbelievable when she partners with Will (Amir Wilson), a boy with just as much courage as she has. Along with Lyra's dæmon Pantalaimon, she and Will face off with creatures of all shapes and sizes, learn true fates of living people and those who have long passed, and make many new acquaintances — like aëronaut balloonist Lee Scoresby (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and the armored bear Iofur Raknison. 

While His Dark Materials may be more adult than some might expect an adaptation of a book trilogy originally marketed toward middle-school-aged children, series executive producer Jane Tranter has promised that the show is definitely family-friendly (via The Hollywood Reporter). HBO viewers who kept their kiddos away from the screen while watching Game of Thrones don't have to do the same with His Dark Materials, Tranter assured. 

"In my experience, children love dark, complicated themes and big questions about who we are and where we are. And I think that Pullman never underestimated children either," she said during the His Dark Materials SDCC presentation. "Pullman says what he wrote was adult books that children should read, and I hope that we ended up making an adult piece that children will watch and should watch. But essentially we just followed his lead."

His Dark Materials series writer Jack Thorne admitted that he cycled through 40 drafts of the first episode alone, trying to perfect the tone and capture every little nuance of Pullman's stories to do right by the source material. He agreed with Tranter's comments about the series being important for all ages, adding that it's very timely in 2019. 

"This is an anti-superhero story, in that if this was a superhero story you'd be following the Lord Asriel part. There's people that are seeking greatness in this story, and there are people that are following their own goodness. And the thing I love about Lyra is she is constantly following the path of the good. I really believe that we should be following our goodness right now and we aren't getting distracted by greatness," said Thorne. "There's something very beautiful about the way that Philip sees the world and the way he communicates this world."

The His Dark Materials novels – Northern Lights (also referred to as The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass — have received flack for seemingly painting religion (specifically Catholicism) in a negative light. This is something that Tranter cleared up, stating that nothing in the show's narrative equates "to any particular church or form of religion in in our world." Rather, like Pullman did in his books, the His Dark Materials series criticizes "a particular form of control, where there is a very deliberate attempt to withhold information, keep people in the dark, and not allow ideas and thinking to be free."

This fresh trailer teases that plus so much more — the race of the Panserbjørn bears, gorgeous snowy landscapes, and Wilson's Marisa Coulter looking like she's hiding dangerous secrets, oh my! In all, the new look at the show proves something huge: in the post-Game of Thrones era, HBO has a hit on its hands with His Dark Materials

HBO hasn't announced an exact release date for His Dark Materials just yet, though the show is expected to arrive on the small screen in the fall.