'His Dark Materials' Season 1 Trailer: HBO Brings Us The Long-Awaited Adaptation Of The Fantasy Epic

All right, His Dark Materials fans. This is it. This could be the screen adaptation that could finally do justice to Philip Pullman's rich, complex fantasy trilogy full of ideas about alternate dimensions and universe-spanning battles with religious deities.

The HBO/BBC big-budget miniseries is set to adapt all three novels of Philip Pullman's acclaimed fantasy series, an adaptation that has been long-awaited after the disastrous 2007 film The Golden Compass. The new series, directed by Tom Hooper and featuring a star-studded cast that includes James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel MirandaDafne Keen, and Ruth Wilson, promises to do right by the trilogy. Watch the His Dark Materials season 1 trailer below.

His Dark Materials Season 1 Trailer

"You once asked me what evil is," McAvoy's Lord Asriel says to Dafne Keen's headstrong protagonist Lyra Belacqua, who, in the first season of His Dark Materials, embarks on a quest to the Arctic after her friend gets captured by a sinister child-napping organization. That question of good and evil becomes a central theme in the His Dark Materials series, which begins as a standard fantasy child-adventure and transforms into an all-out Biblical epic. That's part of why the 2007 Golden Compass bombed, because of a neutered approach that attempted to cut out any of the story's oblique references to the Catholic Church. But thankfully the BBC miniseries, which will debut Stateside on HBO, doesn't seem to shy away from that concept — diving straight into the fantasy world where the Church is a tyrannical organization and where human souls take on the form of animal companions called daemons.

I do have issues with the show's dim lighting and muted colors: I'm not sure if Tom Hooper, who has directed Oscar-nominated but visually dull fare like Les Miserables and The King's Speech, could do justice to the sumptuous settings of Pullman's fantasy world. But I'm starting to warm to the dark settings, because the first book is loaded with intrigue and twisty mysteries that lend to dim hallways and hushed conversations.  There are also some promising shots that aren't shown in a Dutch angle or extreme close-up, so perhaps Hooper could deliver us the great adaptation we've long deserved.

The series also stars James McAvoy as Lyra's adventurer father Lord Asriel, Lin-Manuel Miranda as the grizzled aeronaut Lee Scoresby, Clarke Peters as the amiable Dr. Carne, and Ruth Wilson as the scheming Mrs. Coulter. The first season will cover the events of The Golden Compass, while the next seasons will adapt The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

His Dark Materials is coming "soon" to HBO.