Quarry’s Corrugated Street the set for TV’s His Dark Materials
THE mysterious appearance of a ramshackle tin-roofed town in the middle of a Welsh quarry has got the tongues of fantasy fans wagging.
The strange scene, stumbled upon by dog walker Adrian Davies, is a clear sign that the big-budget TV adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy of books is well under way.
The scattering of buildings which have materialised at Llangynidr Quarry, near Crickhowell, are meant to be the otherworldly town of Trollesund, which debuted in Pullman’s first novel in the hit series, 1995’s Northern Lights.
Followed by another two books – The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass – the story follows the journey of orphan Lyra, who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are entwined.
First mooted in 2015, the current small-screen production stars Scottish X-Men star actor James McAvoy as Lord Asriel (a character played by Daniel Craig in the 2007 film The Golden Compass) and American actor Clarke Peters, best known for his role in crime drama The Wire and the Oscar-winning movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Joining the pair will be Logan actress Dafne Keen, who has been cast in the lead role of Lyra, and Hollywood and Broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will play Texan adventurer Lee Scoresby.
The 38-year-old creator of the award-winning Hamilton musical has been hitting headlines since moving to Wales to shoot the project earlier this year.
Most recently, the Oscar nominee caused a stir when he rocked up at a musicals singalong night at Cardiff bar Porters and started belting out tunes from Les Miserables, as well as leading the crowd in a singalong to the tune My Shot, from Hamilton.
That surprise appearance garnered much international attention, including a slot on popular US TV show Good Morning America.
His Dark Materials is not the only major fantasy saga currently shooting in Wales. Yesterday we revealed that a prequel to the smash-hit series Game of Thrones is believed to be filming at Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor.
An American TV giant has given a pilot order to the series written by Jane Goldman, one of five Game of Thrones projects reportedly in the works.
Produced by UK/US-based production company Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema, His Dark Materials will eventually be screened on BBC One in 2019.
> A set for His Dark Materials at Llangynidr Quarry, near Crickhowell
> His Dark Materials stars James McAvoy, Dafne Keen and Lin-Manuel Miranda