His Dark Materials faced “problems” adapting The Amber Spyglass

Photograph by Courtesy HBO
Photograph by Courtesy HBO /

It’s been a minute since season 2 of His Dark Materials premiered on HBO back in 2020, but we’re finally coming up on the show’s third and final season. Based on the iconic book series by Phillip Pullman, His Dark Materials follows the adventures of Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) and Will Parry (Amir Wilson), two children who are swept up in a conflict that spans multiple worlds. The story begins rather simply, with Lyra chasing after her kidnapped friend and discovering an inter-dimensional conspiracy. Season 3 will dive into Pullman’s most complicated novel, The Amber Spyglass, as it brings the series to a close.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, new footage from the show’s upcoming third season debuted at the Edinburgh Film Festival, with Keen, Wilson, Simone Kirby (Mary Malone), writer Jack Thorne, director Amit Gupta, and Bad Wolf productions founder Jane Tranter on hand to field questions. Tranter said that The Amber Spyglass is “probably far and away the most complex of the books to adapt.”

And Phillip Pullman himself is well aware of this fact. Tranter noted that before development on the new season started, Pullman told the creative team working on the show, “I’m really sorry, I fear I’ve left you with some terrible problems.”

The Amber Spyglass is far bigger in scope than the first two books of Pullman’s trilogy, featuring an epic war and a complex ending. As such,  some big changes are being made to the source material in order to address the “problems” Pullman alluded to.

“One of those – and it’s not a problem obviously, it’s a wonderful creative challenge and privilege – but one of those is lots of things happen or you’re given a lot of information either through a narrating voice or Asriel is told something offscreen,” said Tranter. “Asriel doesn’t really come in [to the book] until significantly later.”

The solution to this is that Lord Asriel’s role is being expanded in His Dark Materials season 3, with the inclusion of a brand new character for him to interact with as he unravels the mysteries of the angels and the Creator.

Photograph by Courtesy HBO
Photograph by Courtesy HBO /

His Dark Materials actors reflect on their complex characters

Tranter wasn’t the only one dropping hints. Dafne Keen (Lyra Belacqua) said that it was ”so interesting to investigate intricate, complicated female characters” as they are “usually deemed as dislikable.” She said playing Lyra was especially interesting to her, “because we don’t get characters like her.”

As for Amir Wilson, he says that “Will has grown up” and is “more self-aware and knows who he is more than before.”

Writer Jack Thorne had nothing but glowing things to say about the show’s cast and how they’ve brought Pullman’s characters to life. “People say stuff, but the truth of a scene is in the faces. Authorship is always ascribed to the writer, but authorship is shared across everyone in the production. And when you get to (season) three of a show, authorship is totally in the hands of the actors. And they are such beautiful, brilliant actors.”

His Dark Materials season 3 currently has no release date, but is expected to premiere sometime late this year.

Next. House of the Dragon renewed for season 2 at HBO!. dark

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h/t RadioTimes.com