Apologies to Hugh Jackman, but Dafne Keen was definitely the best thing about the Wolverine swan song Logan. She was an instant breakout as Laura, the mini-mutant who snarls and slaps Wolverine whenever he doesn’t listen to her, alternating between blistering silent treatment and screaming at him in both Spanish and English. Keen had such a kinetic presence that she soon became a sought-after star, perfectly poised to tackle whatever other big opportunities come her way. And according to Deadline, the time has reportedly come for Keen to gear up for her next big franchise—an eight-episode adaptation of the Philip Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials, directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables).
Keen is in talks to play heroine Lyra, an orphan girl who slips into a parallel universe and makes some supernatural friends. She’ll reportedly co-star alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will play Lyra’s friend, the aeronaut Lee Scoresby.
The adaption is penned by Jack Thorne, who also wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Per Deadline, the series has been in the works for quite some time and has been picked up by BBC One, which will potentially shop it out to streaming platforms like Apple or Netflix. It seems like a delicious opportunity for a Game of Thrones-sized hit, considering the popularity of the books; every platform is searching for just that these days. (Amazon is so hungry for its own answer to Thrones that it’s gutting small shows and making a Lord of the Rings TV series.) His Dark Materials also has all the trappings of a star vehicle for Keen. The only other thing on the teen’s docket right now is the upcoming drama Ana, starring Andy Garcia.
This will mark the second high-profile adaptation of Pullman’s bestselling work. In 2007, director Chris Weitz adapted the first book, Northern Lights, into feature titled The Golden Compass, starring Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, and Freddie Highmore. Actress Dakota Blue Richards played the role of Lyra. The film was poorly received by audiences, earning a disappointing $70 million domestically (especially against its astronomical $180 million budget)—but this new attempt might just get it right, especially since it’s already found an ideal anchor in Keen.
Get Vanity Fair’s HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:Mark Seliger’s 2018 Oscars Portrait StudioPreviousNext
Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.