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HBO's His Dark Materials Adds Several More Stars To Its Voice Cast

The magical cast of the BBC and HBO adaptation of His Dark Materials keeps on growing.

Variety is reporting that several new actors have been brought onto the show to do voice work, with the majority playing various "dæmons" on the series. 

Most notably, Joe Tandberg has been cast as important series character Iorek Byrnison. Byrnison is a badass, armored polar bear who comes from a frozen wilderness and is not only a fierce fighter, but also a both a skilled metallurgist. Byrnison plays a huge role in the novels and was portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen in the 2007 film adaptation The Golden Compass. This will be Tandberg's biggest career role to day, as the most substantial projects he has appeared in so far in his career are the Telltale Games video game based on HBO's Game of Thrones series and the 2019 Shadowbringers expansion of popular online video game Final Fantasy XIV.

Also joining the voice cast of His Dark Materials are veteran English actor David Suchet as Kaisa, a gyrfalcon dæmon; Cars 3's Cristela Alonzo, as Hester, an arctic hare dæmon; and Rocketman's Kit Connor, who will voice the main character Lyra's (Dafne Keen) unsettled dæmon Pantalaimon. 

They will share the screen with an all-star cast including Logan's Dafne Keen, It: Chapter Two's James McAvoy, The Affair's Ruth Wilson, and Mary Poppins Returns' Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series of novels, characters are paired with dæmons, which are sort of like deeper, darker versions of Pinocchio's Jiminy Cricket, in that they're external, intelligent versions of characters' inner-selves. These dæmons appear as animals, but like our conscience-obsessed cricket, can speak. But while children's dæmons can change into various animals, when a character in this fantasy world reaches adolescence, their dæmon will "settle" and choose a permanent animal form — specifically one that resonates strongly with the human character to which they're attached.

After the 2007 film The Golden Compass failed to launch a successful film franchise, HBO and the BBC are looking for His Dark Materials to become the next big worldwide pop culture hit. The book series follows Lyra, a brave girl from another world whose search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children. This spirals into a massive, multidimensional quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon known throughout the book series' various worlds as "Dust." The original book trilogy is comprised of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass – but Pullman has also written a prequel, La Belle Sauvage, and has begun writing a new trilogy in the series with The Book of Dust. If His Dark Materials is a success, the BCC and HBO will have plenty of adaptable content to work with. In fact, the BCC is so confident in His Dark Materials that it has already renewed it for another season, and the series doesn't even premiere until later this year.

His Dark Materials is set to debut sometime in late 2019. We'll keep you updated with more details as they become available.