Actor Michael Sheen will narrate the audiobook of Philip Pullman’s upcoming prequel to The Golden Compass, EW can exclusively reveal. The Book of Dust Volume One: La Belle Sauvage, the first installment of Pullman’s planned new trilogy, will return to the universe of the original series His Dark Materials and describe events 10 years prior to The Golden Compass (a.k.a. Northern Lights).
Sheen, a fan of the original trilogy, said in a statement that the books have had a “profound effect” on him. “Rarely have I felt such loss on coming to the end of a story. So, as a reader and a fan, I was hugely excited on hearing that Philip was returning to the story of Lyra and Dust and challenging the Authority,” the Masters of Sex star said. “It was genuinely one of the most thrilling and enjoyable experiences I’ve had as a performer to sit in that darkened recording studio for three magical days and live inside the story of Malcolm and Lyra and their extraordinary journey.”
More details about the plot of La Belle Sauvage have also emerged: The narrative will introduce a new hero in Malcolm Polstead, an 11-year-old boy with a demon named Asta. Malcolm lives across the river from Godstow Priory, where nuns are sheltering a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua. Pullman fans will of course remember Lyra as the heroine of the original series.
Listen below to an exclusive excerpt of the Belle Sauvage audiobook (out Oct. 19), or watch Sheen’s reading in the video above.