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NYCC: James McAvoy discusses how His Dark Materials Season 3 differs from the book
Photo: Michael Rosch

Television

NYCC: James McAvoy discusses how His Dark Materials Season 3 differs from the book

His Dark Materials returns December 5th.

While interviewing the cast of His Dark Materials at New York Comic Con on Thursday, returning actor James McAvoy (Lord Asriel) revealed what audiences can expect from the final season that’s not found in Philip Pullman’s original books.

“The stuff that we’ve added into Season 3 was really about showing the formation of [Asriel’s] forces, showing what he did,” McAvoy said.

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“He actually accumulated this vast coalition of not only people but species that are all united by their suffering of oppression and abuse at the hands of The Authority and its oppressive institutions. So it’s about showing that and articulating during that why we should be fighting, how we should be fighting, and layering the stakes or showing the audience at the same time what the stakes are going to be by the time we get to the end of the season.”

“It was difficult because there’s not a lot in the books of what Asriel and Coulter also are doing. They’re alluded to a lot of the time without being illustrated a lot of the time. And we had carte blanche from Philip to go fill it in. But it was tricky because you start going in different directions and suddenly it doesn’t feel like Asriel sometimes. Asriel is a one-track guy. He’s like a locomotive just hurtling toward his final destination, and nothing is going to stop him or get in the way. And sometimes when we have so much freedom like we can invent this, we can invent that, and suddenly it’s like it feels like we’re just going down little avenues. Didn’t need them.”

The other big news to come out of NYCC happened during the panel that was open to the public. The biggest reveal — at least for viewers who haven’t read the books — was that James McAvoy would not be the only returning actor from Season 1 who remained mostly or entirely absent from Season 2. After premiering the new Season 3 trailer for Comic-Con attendees, Lin Manuel Miranda appeared on the large screens, popping his head in to signal his return as Lee Scoresby as well.

His Dark Materials returns December 5th.

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