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James McAvoy will play Lord Asriel in the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of His Dark Materials, a role made famous by Daniel Craig in 2007 movie The Golden Compass.

Deadline reports the X-Men star has already signed on the dotted line to play the aristocratic adventurer, who ends up in a cosmic war with his daughter Lyra Belacqua when she enters a parallel universe beyond the northern lights. Fittingly, Lyra will be played by young Dafne Keen, whose breakout performance in Logan saw her hang out with Professor X, i.e. the older version of James’s Marvel character played by Sir Patrick Stewart.

James and Dafne will swap their mutant powers for daemons alongside Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, who’s playing balloonist Lee Scoresby, and now Clarke Peters (The Wire), who plays the Master of the Oxford college where Lyra grows up.

It’s thought to be one of the “most expensive British dramas to date,” and we can see why, given how the cast is shaping up. Not only that, but this new eight-episode series will adapt all three books in Philip Pullman‘s popular fantasy trilogy, and not just the first like the film starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.

There’s no word yet on when it will air, but there is good news for audiences in the U.S.: so far, both Apple and Netflix are reportedly in the running to show it here.

Can you imagine James as Lord Asriel?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.